Lana Del Rey’s next performance probably won’t feature her wrapped in an American flag or show one billowing in the wind. Since “Born to Die,” Americana has been an integral part of Lana Del Rey’s visuals, but Donald Trump’s election has made her rethink her aesthetic. “It’s certainly uncomfortable,” Lana told Pitchfork, when asked about the prospect of continuing to romanticize America now that Trump has taken office. “I definitely changed my visuals on my tour videos. I’m not going to have the American flag waving while I’m singing ‘Born to Die.’ It’s not going to happen. I’d rather have static. It’s a transitional period, and I’m super aware of that. I think it would be inappropriate to be in France with an American flag. It would feel weird to me now — it didn’t feel weird in 2013.”
With Trump in office, Lana said she’s more willing to talk through her thoughts on feminism. “When people asked me the feminist question before, I was like, ‘I’m not really experiencing personal discrimination as a woman. I feel like I’m doing well. I headline shows just like the Weeknd does. I got tons of women in my life, love women, support women,’” she recalled. But the dawn of a new administration has caused her to think more critically about how she perceives womanhood, and how it relates to the themes of Americana and nostalgia that once bolstered her songs.
“Women started to feel less safe under this administration instantly. What if they take away Planned Parenthood? What if we can’t get birth control? Now, when people ask me those questions, I feel a little differently. The reason why I asked Stevie Nicks to be on the record is because she changes when her environment changes, and I’m like that as well.”
In ‘When the World Was at War We Kept Dancing,’ I wrote, ‘Boys, don’t make too much noise/Don’t try to be funny/Other people may not be understanding.’ Like, can you tone down your over-boisterous rhetoric that isn’t working? ‘God Bless America — And All the Beautiful Women in It’ is a little shout-out to the women and anyone else who doesn’t always feel safe walking down the street late at night. That’s what I was thinking of when I wrote, ‘Even when I’m alone I’m not lonely/I feel your arms around me.’ It’s not always how I feel when I’m walking down the street, but sometimes in my music I try to write about a place that I’m going to get to.”
Lust for Life is out July 21.