Lana Del Ray has just dropped the gorgeous music video for her single Chemtrails Over the Country Club, from her upcoming album of the same name. However, the release came with its fair share of criticism.
The new music video shows the heroin-pop icon clad in ’60s fashion, driving a vintage Mercedes-Benz, before the video falls into chaos. She and her glamorous group of friends become werewolves in a cinematic fever dream.
Del Ray unveiled Chemtrails Over the Country Club’s album art and 11-song tracklist just last week, noting on Instagram that: “There’s always turmoil and upheaval and in the midst of it — there’s always beautiful music, too.”
Despite delays in the album’s release due to COVID-19, fans and critics have long speculated that this latest follow-up to 2019’s Norman Fucking Rockwell! will continue down the rabbit-hole of morose, yet camp, pop.
I’m ready pic.twitter.com/ceugIbQ8nd
— 𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒄𝒓𝒖𝒔𝒉 🇮🇪🇧🇷 (@thecampoy) January 11, 2021
However, while announcing the album’s artwork, Del Ray copped a fair amount of criticism for her “tokenisation” of women on colour on the cover. The singer pre-emptively defended the photo on social media by saying that she has “always been extremely inclusive without even trying to.”
“I also want to say that with everything going on this year,” she wrote in a comment on her post.
“And no this was not intended-these are my best friends, since you are asking today. And damn! As it happens when it comes to my amazing friends and this cover yes there are people of colour on this records [sic] picture and that’s all I’ll say about that but thank you.”
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The defence follows further backlash that Del Ray received in May last year when she first announced Chemtrails Over The Country Club. In the announcement, the artist negatively compared her experiences in the music industry to other artists of colour (such as Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, and Doja Cat).
Many criticised Del Ray’s words as racially insensitive and tone-deaf, and noted that her comments didn’t match the feminist platitudes she was making while promoting the album.
In response last May, Del Ray attempted to clarify her statements in a six-minute video post where she said critics “want to turn my post, my advocacy for fragility into a race war.”
Needless to say, Twitter’s response has been varied. While some love the occult aesthetic of her new music video, others can’t stop memeing her and her poor, poor publicist.
Lana del rey’s publicist: *relaxing*
— Josh Gomez (@_pure_1) January 11, 2021
Chemtrails Over the Country Club’, produced by Jack Antonoff, is now available for preorder after being delayed from its release in 2020. While an official release date for the album has not been announced, a date is expected to be announced this week – thank god!