Lux Lyall on Lana Del Rey

Lux Lyall is a fiercely glamorous artist. She recently released her third single called Gun Metal Horses and has produced a wonderful video to accompany the song.

The track was written during her visit back to Cyprus where she grew up and the video’s dreamy and divinely dark essence details the song’s mood of “longing for the past, fearing for the future and reflecting on the present”, picturing feelings of loss and nostalgia while dreaming of precious and carefree childhood memories.

Lyall’s music is deep, dark and poetic. Here, she professes her love of one of her biggest influences in the latest in our Why I Love series…read on for a wonderful take on how and why Lana Del Rey inspired this up and coming singer.

Lux Lyall

London, November 2011, a house party somewhere in Angel, approx. 2.00am.

I sat back in the old arm chair, pressing my hand over my eyes to block out the glaring living room light. My head was already spinning, and we were the last ones left to leave, again. 

My boyfriend at the time was rambling some drug fuelled nonsense at the band whose house we were at; they were nodding politely, and I was desperately trying to block all the noise out until my taxi arrived.

I was half listening to a conversation coming from the kitchen about a song that was making the rounds. 

“have you heard her? Her voice is so beautiful and this song…”

My ears perked up and I shakily hauled myself out of the chair and floated into the kitchen.

“heard who? Who are you guys talking about?” I croaked, exhausted. 

My mouth tasted like Satan’s ashtray. My boyfriend was still talking shit to no one in particular. 

Where is my taxi?

The girl pushed her blonde hair out of her face and turned her laptop to face me, dropping cigarette ash into a plate that once held some assortment of party food none of us had eaten.

“This girl, Lana Del Rey, Have you not heard ‘Video Games’ yet?”

I shook my head, pouring myself another drink, eyes fixed on the blaring white light of the computer screen, brain throbbing behind them.

“I think you’d really like it, she’s got this vintage Americana thing going on, it’s totally up your street”

I nodded wordlessly. 

Where was my taxi?

She hit play and the opening chords to the song sailed into the room on a rickety blue rowboat in my mind, from another place and time in my life entirely. 

I had never heard this song before, but I knew it. 

Somewhere in me I already knew it.

I couldn’t look away to refill my glass or glare at my boyfriend for his idiotic commentary of the singers look (typical,) as she gazed through the computer screen into that kitchen in Angel, sending me all the messages I desperately needed to hear but couldn’t face because at the over-ripe, slowly rotting, old age of nineteen. I was engaged to someone I didn’t love. I was worn, and tired, and done trying to sing in a band that I felt no connection to whatsoever outside of my own words.

 I was ready to give it all up and go to business school. Or you know, die.

“Why are her lips so pouty, what’s with what she’s wearing?” My boyfriend whined, I shushed him in a venomous hiss, annoyed and frowning. Dude knew how to keep me annoyed and frowning that’s for sure.

I turned up the volume, eyes never leaving the screen, snapshots of kids on Vespas, kids falling in love, old cartoons, and her, flashing before me, crawling off the computer screen, filling up the room, pushing the other people out of it so it was just her and I dancing through these flashes of when I was happiest. When I was in love with someone who deserved my love. When I was free and didn’t know it. When I was safe. 

I think Lana Del Rey unknowingly became my spirit guide on some kind of acid trip I didn’t sign up for. 

The Space Coyote to my Homer Simpson, if you will.

Wait. Was there acid in that drink? I can’t remember. Maybe. Or I’m just tired. 

“Hello? HEY, LUX?” My boyfriend’s sharp tone snapped me back into reality

“WHAT?” I bellowed.

 God. I really need to break up with this guy.

“The taxis here babe, Uh…do you have cab fare?”

Over the next few months I learned to play the song on the piano, played it repeatedly and sang it to an empty apartment (and a few very annoyed neighbours I’m sure) at all hours of the night like some kind of chant to quell my constant anxiety. 

My high school sweetheart was going to be coming back into town. Bad news for my relationship at that time but good news for me.

I would like to personally thank Lana Del Rey, not only for her work, but for her helping me realise I almost married the wrong person. 

Thanks girl. That would’ve been a fuckin’ disaster. 

I eventually reconciled with my high school sweetheart…eventually. Every Lana song was about him for me, they still are. 

We’ve been together for five years now. 

He’s not tired of me yet.

As more of her music was released I let myself fall deeper into the myth and magic of her. I combed through the internet finding a ton of her unreleased material (not knowing it was leaked at the time, I’m really, really sorry. It was just so good).

I read articles that praised her, scoffed at those who judged her based on her appearance, “alter ego” (don’t we all kind of have one?), authenticity, and tendency to write about men (were we as women supposed to stop writing music about whatever the hell we wanted? I think they missed the memo.)

As an artist, she’s inspired me to say whatever I feel is true to myself and my story because there’s a beauty in honesty that first and foremost, feels important to how I express myself, before I worry about pleasing anyone else. 

She influences me to use my voice more, not to be afraid to sing softly, slowly, truthfully or deeply because other people might find it tedious or boring, which was something that worried me to begin with, as my natural tendency is to do just that. 

I have too many songs by her that I love to name a favourite, I often say ‘Video Games’ because it’s the one that introduced me to her music but it changes by the day. 

Some of my favourite words of hers are from her latest album, ‘Norman Fucking Rockwell’. Her closing song, “hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have-but I have it” resonates with me in a million ways. For my birthday this year, I went record shopping in the rain and passing a tattoo shop decided to get the first part of the title tattooed to my forearm as a reminder, the dash is included, the phrase “but I have it” left out, as it is finally something I already know.

Every album of hers has been released at a strangely critical point in my life, in some ways I did my most important growing up to her music and will gladly continue to do the rest of it to whatever she releases next.

Many thanks to Lux Lyall for this wonderful story of how and why Lana Del Rey means so much to her.

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