West Coast is a song recorded by American singer-songwriter Lana Del Rey for her upcoming third studio album, Ultraviolence (2014). It was released on April 14, 2014 by Polydor Records and Interscope Records as the lead single from the record. The song was co-written by Del Rey and Rick Nowels, while production was handled by Dan Auerbach.
Background On April 3, 2014, Del Rey announced that the West Coast would be the lead single from Ultraviolence. Del Rey revealed the official single cover on April 10. Fearne Cotton played the song on her BBC Radio 1 show on April 14, 2014. On the same day the song was uploaded to her YouTube Vevo channel as an audio clip, featuring herself and Bradley Soileau on a beach, with the clip playing in a loop.
Composition West Coast is a ballad with an approximate length of four minutes and seventeen seconds. The song frequently shifts between a mid-tempo pop and soft rock verse and a surf rock slow-tempo chorus. It was co-written by Del Rey with Rick Nowels, while production was handled by Dan Auerbach.
Vulture writer Lindsey Weber cited West Coast to be a mix of Stevie Nicks 1982 song Edge of Seventeen with an outtake from a Quentin Tarantino film soundtrack. According to Harriet Gibsone of The Guardian, the song oozes with the sultry sounds and textures of 80s drive time.
Music video On May 6, 2014, an unfinished version of the music video for West Coast was uploaded and taken down by Del Reys label. The next day, the finished video was published. Jenn Pelly and Evan Minsker of Pitchfork Media remarked that at first, it appears to function in small, romantic gestureshanging near an ocean, smoking in the back of a car, much like a fashion ad in a magazine. And then, plot twist: Its Lana in flames.
Critical response The song has received universal acclaim from music critics, who commended its atmospheric and hypnotic production, as well as its maturity. Spins Marc Hogan commented positively on the song, calling it atmospheric. entertainmentwise lauded the track, calling it stunning. Cult Noise called the song a vintage classic; soft around the edges, heartbreakingly beautiful and exquisitely composed and awarded it a 9/10. MUUMUSE described the song as revolutionary and entirely different from anything thats being offered in pop music at the moment, awarding it 5/5. A Billboard staff writer wrote that while it was less moody than her previous work, West Coast sounds decidedly like Del Rey airy vocals drenched in reverb and other effects plus a chorus/breakdown that shows off her vulnerability. Writing for VH1s website, Meghan OKeefe wrote before asking readers their thoughts on the single, Del Reys newest single, West Coast, boasts the singers trademark combination of wistfully romantic lyrics and hypnotic beats, but it also signals a step forward.
MTVs Brenna Ehrlich wrote that West Coast is, [a] dark, whisper-y jam, West Coast finds Del Rey as a more mature version of her Lolita lost in the hood persona, and that it hints at a more subdued, rich side to Lana Del Reys work. At Rolling Stone, Kory Grow writes, Lana Del Rey shows off two different, moody sides of herself in West Coast. Nolan Feeney at the Time wrote that the song has all the makings of her signature sound plus a few new tricks. He added, Its only right that during the most important music event on the West Coast the Coachella music festival pop musics endlessly polarizing flower child Lana Del Rey debuted a new song inspired by that very place. NMEs Al Horner described the song as a breathy, hip-moving blues grind, comparing it to the music of Stevie Nicks. He went on to say that If West Coast is anything to go on, Ultraviolence should prove worth the wait. The Guardian said the song oozes with the sultry sounds and textures of 80s drive time, based around a solitary guitar and anxiously breathy vocals. At the Los Angeles Times, Mikael Wood noted, Lana Del Rey connects despite revealing little. He drew comparison stating, its a characteristically bleary number that sounds like Stevie Nicks Edge of Seventeen slowed down to a narcotized crawl; theres a bit of Wicked Game by Chris Isaak in there too, as, indeed, there is in all of Del Reys music.
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