Indietronica artist ERASING GRACE celebrates a decade of LANA DEL REY’s debut album, with her 2022 dark-electronica take on the cult classic title track, Born To Die l.
Pop music was irrevocably altered on 27th January 2012 when Lana Del Rey released her seminal album Born To Die, a collection of baroque, trip-hop, and alternative pop songs saturated in sentimentality.
Ten years on, UK dark wave indietronica artist Erasing Grace gives us the feels all over again with her electro synth take on the cult hit. The artist's electronica update feels ironically 2022; the production is heavily 80s influenced. The mood of the track would not be out of place on Netflix hit Stranger Things, thanks in part to a collaboration with producer and multi-instrumentalist Pluto Sun.
Orchestral production, haunting vocals and foreboding lyrical misery are signature sounds in the discographies of both Erasing Grace and Lana Del Rey, making this cover of Born the Die a marriage made in melancholy heaven.
Lana planted the seeds not only for her own success, but for the sounds that would guide some of the decade’s biggest pop stars. Erasing Grace - real name - Anna Grace Du Noyer - was one of those seedlings. Inspired by Lana’s debut Born to Die album, she admits listening to it "non stop, for a month, until everyone around me hated it... I never did. It was beautifully sad. It was like nothing else I’d ever heard and spoke to my while being!"
The original record polarised music critics: some derided Lana’s penchant for old-time aesthetics, calling it contrived, whilst others applauded its avant-garde approach to pop music. The backlash extended to concerned parents of teenage daughters who decried its glamourised depictions of depressed and drug-dependent women (‘Carmen’). Meanwhile, feminists rebuked it as reductive of women (‘This Is What Makes Us Girls’).
In more recent years, Born To Die has become a muse for retrospective reviewers, with many acknowledging that they had judged it unfairly upon its release. Commercially speaking, the album sold upwards of 7 million copies, and continues to intrigue, and inspire debate.
Why? Unlike other equally talented female pop stars of the era (Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Rihanna), Del Rey’s music, though ultimately pop at its core, dripped with nostalgia and oozed melancholia.