01 Apr 2022 - Gene
Indie-Pop, Post-Rock | Fools Rush In | Release date: 01 Apr 2022
We are not the biggest purveyors of Pop here at Veil Of Sound. But when we caught wind that the sultana of sing herself, Lana Del Ray, was working on an album made up exclusively of Post-Rock covers, we could barely staunch the spittle. Obviously, we knew we had to sit down with her publicist, neighbor, dog or anyone we could get on the line, to learn all that we could.
To our amazement, the diva herself deigned to answer our groveling request for an interview. And so, a few short international wires later, we present you, in her own words: Lana Del Ray: Shotgun Synesthesia.
Lana sits down and begins nervously touching her face. Softly brushing away invisible lint, she begins to speak with eloquence and a charming sneer. Speaking in a disarming, wistful manner, wildly gyrating lips seem to chew her face as she dives, fairly unprompted into her passionate diatribe and does. Not. Stop.
Now, Lana, thanks for being here by the way, so how did you come to record a covers album? That doesn’t seem like your style. And in such an obscure genre?
Well, it all started in lockdown, like a lot of stuff has been happening in isolation, you know? And so I was just chatting with my producer, Zach (Dowes), about the new album – Interscope was pushing for a Fall release – and I just, you know, I just didn’t have a lot of ideas at the time and I was listening to Cardi B the whole time, and so I was just like stalling them for a while, right? But then Zach was sending me all these tracks I never heard of. Different stuff. Darker stuff, you know? Darker than a lot of stuff out there, even than my own stuff, which you know has some heavy themes and stuff. So I started listening and I thought, you know what? I could do this stuff better. And no one is doing it right now!
So, you wanted to re-record some of these tracks in your own style and …
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. But better, you know? I mean some of these tracks are older than I am and I’m like, “did they even have digital compression back then?”
They did but …
Right! So like Zach started sending over these guitar hooks, these synthy, gloomy type things, like riffing on the tracklist we had been kicking around at that time. And then it hit me! I was like “NO! I want to do this solo”, so I kicked him to the curb (so sorry Zach) and had my manager tell Interscope I’m going solo on this one and we set a date and everything.
So what is it about these tracks that …
Yeah so, I was just listening to random stuff and, you know, spending a lot of time home alone, just me and my bud, and riffing on this stuff. But I wanted to do it all by myself, you know? So I decided, why not record all the parts A Capella and take it all to Kurt (Baloun) – who I knew from when he was stalking my twitter – to mix it and spruce it up, basically.
So take us through your thought process on some of these …
Right, so the album starts with “Dial : Revenge”, which is basically already this A Capella track from these Scotch boys I heard, actually a few years back, so I thought, I can do that no problem, just “tee tee yo, tee tee yo…” and then I added some mumble rock kind of thing to the verses, since no one can understand that they’re saying anyway, you know?
Well, no, but …
Anyways, then this track “Kodama” by these French Japanese types, or whatever, called Alcest? So that was basically the same approach. The guitar parts I did by grinding my teeth into the mic and then Kurt did his magic on that, and then it was like “a fa-faa, ra-la-faaa…” And I was thinking about falafels the whole time. I really love falafels, you know? Anyways, it’s like a love song to falafels. And then, the most challenging part was the Godspeen Your Bleak Emperor song “Mladic”, which is this instrumental, freewheeling crazy piece and that took a lot of work, since I basically had to hum most of the parts separately. We also used the sound of my jacket zipper zipping and unzipping, and my cat crying for food, and the humming sound my fridge makes sometimes (got lucky there, I almost broke the fridge). And then Kurt put like 69 layers of reverb on it and it sounded great – like better than the original, I’m pretty sure.
I don’t think that …
The next one was a late addition by Holy Fawn. I never even heard of her but it came up on my playlist one time and I was like, “This is kinda boring, lemme fix that”. You know? On that one I did a lot of kitchen tympanics. Clinking glasses and shaking dry pasta in pots and such. Same thing on the next track, “NYC Battery” by Sigur Ros, except I did that in my master bath because I needed to sound like a wind instrument without shitting the floor. The next one, “Tunnel Blanket” by This Will Destroy You, was also a pretty boring number so I recorded that whole thing in bed. I would just keep the tape running at night and then took the parts in the morning when I was yawning and stretching and that, which Kurt thought was pretty Avant-Garde. The next track is the sappy number, “Under Your Wings I’ll Hide” by Immanu El, which was pretty challenging too, since I had to go outside for it. I recorded like birds and trains and buskers and things like that – basically anything I could find - because I was getting sick of it by that point. 800 layers per track, you know? And then I did the vocals and had Kurt do the heavy lisfting from there. Next I did “Insomnia” by Lost In Kiev, because, Kiev, you know? Then it was Cribled Black Peonix’s “To You I Give” which was more my style already than some of the other stuff. So I did a lot of “doodley-doo” stuff and made it work.
And I end the album with Her Name Is Calla’s “Swan” which is just like such a melodramatic song that I did most of it crying into my radiator after opening it up full steam to get that buzzing effect on my voice. But I didn’t dig the lyrics so it’s just me crying “wow ow wooow…” into my radiator and hitting it with chopsticks for the drum parts. Kurt did a great job making that one sound like actual music, let me tell you. I can’t thank everyone involved enough for the support, which is mostly him and me. So, yeah, it was a pretty great experience doing all that stuff by myself.
I’m really proud of it.
We really didn’t count on a play-by-play but …
Well it’s like it’s just a really personal album for me, you know?
Like this is the truest expression of me that I’ve ever done.
But these are all covers?
Yeah, my covers.
Ok, great, well thanks for being here.