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Lana Del Rey, 'Arcadia'

Recently Lana Del Rey seems to perform best when she keeps it simple. She's distanced herself from the aesthetic-driven persona (a dirty word for Del Rey, but a true one) of 2012's Born to Die with each passing record, and on her new single "Arcadia," she is not speaking of existential questions or relationship grandeur, but rather, holding the focus on herself. Her body is "a map of L.A.," her "chest is the Sierra Madre."

The song, from the upcoming Blue Banisters, evokes her two strongest left turns, 2017's Lust For Life and 2019's Norman F***ing Rockwell. She sings in perhaps her most mature tone yet, in front of strings and a muted horn line, taking her time as her lyrics carefully construct the very landscapes she describes. Lana is an artist who has been trying to situate herself firmly in the pantheon of Californian Americana, and on "Arcadia," she seems to connect fully with her desired ethos.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Reanna Cruz is a news assistant for NPR Music's Alt.Latino.