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“Blue Banisters”: Melancholy But Beautiful, Lana Del Rey’s Last Album Is All About Her New Phase

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The article below was written by Giovanna Ragano and edited by Isabella Gomes. Liked this type of content? Check out Her Campus Cásper Líbero for more!

All Lana del Rey Stan probably went crazy when, shortly after the release of Chemtrails Over the Country Club, the singer announced that her next album was already in production and would arrive sooner than anyone imagined.

So, a few months later, more specifically on October 22, the world was gifted with Blue Banisters, an album that did not please the critics that much, but it touched the heart of anyone who knows that Lana is one of the most interesting personalities of her generation.

Text Book, Wildflower Wildfire & Sweet Carolina: Lana and her family

Since the beginning of her career, Lana del Rey sings about having daddy issues, in the album’s first track Text Book it is not different, she reveals in the song how she hoped to see a father figure who would protect her in a relationship with some guy: “I was looking for the father I wanted back / And I thought I found it in Brentwood / It seemed only appropriate you’d easily have my back.”

But the novelty of Blue Banisters is that del Rey speaks openly about her relationship with Patricia Grant, her mother. Through the verses of Wildflower Wildfire and Text Book, it is possible to see that the two have a troubled relationship. “My father never stepped in when his wife would rage at me / So I ended up awkward, but sweet”.

We can also notice that the singer does not refer to Patricia as her mother. In Wildflower Wildfire, Lana calls the woman her father’s wife, and in Text Book, she refers only as “her”: “And then there was the issue of her / I didn’t even like myself or love the life I had.”

But, fortunately, Lana del Rey reveals that there is love within her family. In Sweet Carolina, the track that closes the album most delicately ever, the singer dedicates the verses to her sister, Chuck Grant. When the song was written, Chuck was pregnant and afraid to have baby blues after giving birth. When a woman finds herself in this situation, she must have a support network, and Lana made it clear that she would be with her the whole time: “Baby blues / If things ever go wrong /Just know this is your song and we love you”. Rob Grant, her father, and her sister, Chuck, also participated in Sweet Carolina’s creation process.

Arcadia: Lana is ready to leave L.A.?

Since her career started, Lana has always desired fame and exposed this wish through her songs and the aesthetics she created with her albums. This aesthetic includes Los Angeles as one of the main elements. For Lana, the city is the stage of all her dreams.

In Born to Die and Paradise, Lana del Rey’s older productions, fame is pictured as something that the young singer desires with all her heart. In Honeymoon’s song God Knows I Tried, Lana is already able to see the consequences of her fame: “I feel free when I see no one / And nobody knows my name”.

This mature view of fame continued in Chemtrails Over the Country Club, an album that conveys a more peaceful and regionalist aesthetic. In the song Let Me Love You Like a Woman, Lana affirms she is ready to leave Los Angeles, her dreamland. Furthermore, in Wild at Heart, del Rey recalls the fame’s consequences: “The cameras have flashes, they cause the car crashes / But I’m not a star.”

And with all this baggage from the previous albums, we finally get to Arcadia. The term that gives the song its name is often used in literature. Arcadia refers to a quiet, simple and innocent place, where there are none of the problems of fame that Lana discussed in the songs mentioned above.

Recently, Lana del Rey deactivated her Instagram account. The social media’s exit can be the beginning of some changes in the singer’s life, a possible exit from Los Angeles may be among her next plans, to then search for her own arcadia. As the song says itself, the city of angels will always be part of her, but it seems that Lana may seek new directions in the future. 

Blue Banisters & Black Bathing Suit: an inspiring Lana

Songs about troubled relationships have always been part of Lana del Rey’s discography. So listening to Blue Banisters was a great surprise, the song is about a man who promised he would always show up at her house to paint her banisters blue, but he never did. So she decides to call her dear friends and paint the banisters green and gray together.

This song portrays much more than just painting banisters, it is about friendship and the importance of valuing it. Because even if a relationship disappoints us, we will always have the support of our friends. “I said the power of us three / Can bring absolutely anything”.

Besides friendship, Lana del Rey also talks about the importance of loving ourselves in Black Bathing Suit. The song portrays the quarantine period, in which the worry, the desire for tranquility and body changes are completely normal. In addition, Lana speaks about the fact that she has put on weight lately and how she has received attacks and mean comments because of it. But the message that she leaves with the song is that her body is her temple and nothing will change that.

Many Blue Banisters songs were recorded a long time ago. Cherry Blossom, If You Lie Down With Me, Living Legend and Nectar of the Gods are discarded titles from Ultraviolence, her album released in 2014. Dealer and Thunder are part of a compilation of songs recorded with the band The Last Shadow Puppets in 2017. It is interesting to see the old and the new coming together in one album, without abandoning harmony and purpose. It shows that Lana is different, but somehow she is still the iconic singer who stands out for her originality.

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Giovanna Ragano

Casper Libero '24

Journalism student at Casper Libero. Passionate about literature, fashion and TV shows. Always listening to Lana del Rey or Danna Paola on headphones.
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