After stirring up a fandom backlash last week with comments about other popular female musicians, Lana Del Rey has apparently decided to let her work speak for itself. The singer released a spoken-word version of “Patent Leather Do-Over” off her upcoming poetry collection, behind the iron gates - insights from an institution. The piece addresses poet Sylvia Plath via a passage from 1963’s The Bell Jar in which Plath imagines leaving her shoes on a beach, pointed at the ocean, long after her death. Jack Antonoff contributed music to Del Rey’s audio poem, just as he contributed to her most recent album, 2019’s Norman Fucking Rockwell.
The singer took to Instagram this past Thursday to respond to ongoing allegations that her songs and videos glamorize domestic abuse. “Question for the culture: Now that Doja Cat, Ariana, Camila, Cardi B, Kehlani and Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé have had number ones with songs about being sexy, wearing no clothes, f—ing, cheating etc. – can I please go back to singing about being embodied, feeling beautiful by being in love even if the relationship is not perfect, or dancing for money – or whatever I want – without being crucified or saying that I’m glamorizing abuse??????,” Del Rey wrote, a question the culture at large responded to with a collective “What?”
In a follow-up post, Del Rey defended her comments from “folks who I can only assume are super Trump/Pence supporters or hyper liberals or flip-flopping headline-grabbing critics who can’t read.” Behind the iron gates will reportedly arrive next March, after the singer’s new album debuts on September 5, and presumably following the release of her previously mentioned audiobook, Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass.