Thursday, 13 March 2014

The Lana Del Rey Effect

When Lana Del Rey released her album, Born To Die not only did she give the world beautiful music to listen to but she also opened the door for more females who had been singing like her and wanted to sing like her. Since the release of Born To Die, musicians such as Lorde and BANKS have graced the music world with their talent. Just like Lana, they both sing emotionally fuelled songs which cannot be compared to your conventional pop singer. I call the rise of this genre, The Lana Del Rey Effect.

Read The Lana Del Rey - Born To Die Review


Jillian Banks, aka BANKS is an American singer who has recently gained fame from her song, Brain. I first came to know about BANKS while reading Pharrell William's article in the Red Bulletin. Because I respect Williams and his music choices, it was only right that I opened Soundcloud and listened to all her songs.

"Looking you over,
and you don't know my name yet…
But by the time you looked away
already knew I couldn't fake it"
- Warm Water

I don't think the word obsessed effectively describes how in love I am with her music. Unlike other female singers, you can feel that BANKS wrote her own music and still feels the content of her lyrics while she sings. A couple of days later, BANKS was featured as Artist of The Week on American Vogue, that is when I knew that I would be listening to BANKS for the rest of my life.

Compared to Lana Del Rey, BANKS' music is a lot darker and at times sadder yet more relatable. BANKS and Del Rey's content is similar, not their voices or sound. No one knows how old BANKS is as she lives a very private life and does not share much on social channels. However judging from her musical content, she is my age or similar.

Fiona Apple and Lauryn Hill are her biggest influences yet she sounds nothing like them. She makes simple music which gets straight to the point in terms of content and is not overpowered by too many musical elements. Yes, Brain has a lot more sound than Warm Water and Change but it does not take away from the distinct sound and feel that has been created by BANKS, Lorde and the founder, Lana Del Rey.

"But it's all the same
I could have foreseen
That you would act like you are
Oh so cool you seem
Blending with that scene
Wearing what you think is hard

I can see you struggling
Boy, don't hurt your brain
Thinking what you're gonna say
Cause everything's a game
Always trying to calculate
Trying to look smart but not too smart
To threaten anything they say"
- Brain

The Lana Del Rey Effect has more to do with the content of the lyrics than the actual music itself. You could always tell that Del Rey was singing about memories which bought her joy or sadness and it just so happened that the music that went with the lyrics embodied the emotional status of the words.


Another singer who might have learned a few more tricks from Lana Del Rey is Lorde. Unlike Lana Del Rey and BANKS, Lorde has gained a phenomenal amount of radio success. Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O'Connor aka Lorde is the seventeen year old singer who gained popularity from her song Royals which also won Song of The Year at the 2014 Grammy Awards.

If there is another singer whose voice sounds like Lana Del Rey's, it's Lorde. The New Zealand born singer and songwriter has the same laziness to her voice like Del Rey. If you are not convinced take a listen to Bravado, Tennis Court and Swingin' Party. Besides the lazy voice, the feel of the music is the same.

"Baby be the class clown
I'll be the beauty queen in tears
It's a new art form showing people how little we care (yeah)
We're so happy, even when we're smilin' out of fear
Let's go down to the tennis court, and talk it up like yeah (yeah)"
- Tennis Court

Lana Del Rey's Born To Die album had many Hip-Hop elements to it and so does Tennis Courts and Swingin' Party. There are several inconsistencies in her music, at times she sounds like Lana Del Rey and other times she sounds like Icona Pop. Her age lets her play around with several genres.

Comparing to Lorde, BANKS is a lot more electro and more in tune with how music will sound in years to come. Lorde is making music for 2014 and for a wider age group.

Lana Del Rey may not be the actual pioneer of her style of music, but she definitely paved the way for singers like BANKS and Lorde. After the release of Born To Die there were many more female singer/songwriters who were creating honest music that was paired with an emotionally filled sound. The age of the diva has come and gone. Women would prefer to pour their heart out using words rather than screams.

Read The Women In Music Blog Post

There are many more women who have been influenced by the Lana Del Rey Effect and as music continues to evolve so will the Lana Del Rey Effect.


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