Despite weaving relatable scenes of Zoom calls and lockdown weight gain into her distinctive aesthetic, the stylised singer remains as elusive as ever on her eighth album

Despite some misguided early philosophising, the pandemic has not turned out to be a great leveller: we have all been, to borrow a viral metaphor, navigating the same stormy sea in very different vessels. It has, however, made Lana Del Rey a bit more relatable. The musician has often seemed more highly stylised cipher than everywoman, toying with romantic ideals of American culture and darkly dysfunctional love. Yet on her eighth album, Blue Banisters, she has more pedestrian activities in mind, such as Zoom calls and trips to Target.

“If this is the end, I want a boyfriend / Someone to eat ice-cream with and watch television,” she sings on Black Bathing Suit, a song that appears to nod to lockdown weight gain (“The only thing that still fits me is this black bathing suit”). Later, she is overcome by signs of ordinary life returning: on Violets for Roses, once run-of-the-mill sights such as young women frolicking maskless and bookshops reopening can now elicit euphoria.

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