Lana Del Rey in her early years

The rising fame of Lizzy Grant

Mia Goodman, Music Critic

Hi, I’m Mia Goodman and I’m a freshman. I love hanging out with my friends, playing golf, and most importantly, music! 

In this series of articles I will be writing about everything music related such as album reviews, artists history, and song recommendations. 

For the first topic let’s talk about the one and only, Lana Del Rey. Elizabeth Woolridge Grant (Lana Del Rey) was born in Lake Placid, New York on June 21, 1985 to Robert Grant and Patricia Hill. Her siblings are Caroline (Chuck) and Charlie. Lana grew up in a Roman Catholic household and attended Catholic school. Her hobbies were singing in her choir and writing poetry. Unfortunately, alcohol abuse took over her youth and she was later sent to a boarding school where her uncle worked. 

She brought her old passion for music and writing with her to school where she learned to play guitar. She realized with this ability to write and play music she had real potential. After graduating, she was accepted into the State University of New York at Geneseo, but decided to not take up that offer and rather live with her aunt and uncle in Long Island, New York. 

She would write songs and with this newfound talent of guitar playing and old hobby of poetry. She started performing at nightclubs with different stage names such as “Sparkle Jump Rope Queen” and “Lizzy Grant and the Phenomena.” The following fall she applied and attended Fordham University where she majored in Philosophy.

Her difficulty making friends in school made her realize that maybe the music route (where she could be independent) was the way to go, and she was right. She lived in the Bronx for a bit but then relocated to New Jersey. Her songs are definitely a reflection of her childhood, but also, her shady relationship history. 

We can take her album “Ultraviolence” for example. The album’s essence is dark romance, bittersweet and deep. The song named after the album, “Ultraviolence” is a dark, bitter, but ethereal song. In a sense it “accepts” or “allows” abusive/toxic relationships to occur with an idea that they are the ideal meaning of love. Whether that be in a romantic involvement or in childhood. This song could be a representation of multiple events in Del Rey’s life. From her unstable relationship with her mother, to her dark romantic involvements. 

Another example is “West Coast”. The opening line to this song is “Down on the West Coast, they’ve got a saying, if you’re not drinking, then you’re not playing”. This set of lyrics could be a symbol of how she felt when she dealt with her alcohol abuse issues as a child. 

Lana Del Rey’s lyrics are soft on the surface, but have a deeper meaning if you truly break her songs down. Del Rey’s music has evolved from dark ethereal alternative to more coastal/psychedelic rock and melodramatic.