The Weekend and Del Rey pay tribute to the Hollywood sign in the midtempo title track
Lana Del Rey is “dancing on the ‘H’ in the Hollywood sign” in the luxurious title track from her forthcoming fifth album, Lust For Life, which debuted today on Mistajam’s BBC Radio 1 show. It takes cues from 60s pop group The Shangri-Las and features a few falsetto verses from The Weeknd. Del Rey revealed the collab in her cover interview with Courtney Love for Dazed’s SS17 issue.
“I also have Abel (Tesfaye), The Weeknd,” she told Love. “Maybe that’s kind of weird to have a feature on the title track, but I really love that song and we had said for a while that we were gonna do something; I did stuff on his last two records.”
The singer also revealed that Swedish superproducer Max Martin had some input on the song after Del Rey hit a brick wall in putting it together. “‘Lust for Life’ was the first song I wrote for the record, but it was kind of a Rubik’s Cube. I felt like it was a big song but... it wasn’t right.”
“I don’t usually go back and re-edit things that much, because the songs end up sort of being what they are, but this one song I kept going back to. I really liked the title. I liked the verse. John Janick was like, ‘Why don’t we just go over and see what Max Martin thinks?’ So, I flew to Sweden and showed him the song. He said that he felt really strongly that the best part was the verse and that he wanted to hear it more than once, so I should think about making it the chorus. So I went back to Rick Nowels’ place the next day and I was like, ‘Let’s try and make the verse the chorus,’ and we did, and it sounded perfect. That’s when I felt like I really wanted to hear Abel sing the chorus, so he came down and rewrote a little bit of it. But then I was feeling like it was missing a little bit of the Shangri-Las element, so I went back for a fourth time and layered it up with harmonies. Now I’m finally happy with it.”
During her Radio 1 interview, she also spoke about another track on the album, “Yosemite”, which she described as “laid-back”. Listen to “Lust For Life” below: