Kim Kizyma
Graphic Designer + Creative Technologist

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SOTD: Mariner's apartment complex

I’ve been a fan of Lana Del Rey pretty much ever since my younger sister introduced me to her. She recently dropped a new song, called Mariner’s Apartment Complex. I’ve been listening to it essentially nonstop since I found it. Lyrics below.

By cycling through different aspects of her artistic persona, Lana Del Reykeeps coming closer to its essence. The trip- and hip-hop sheen of 2012’s Born to Die gave way to the psych-rock smolder of 2014’s Ultraviolence, which led to the opulent languor of 2015’s Honeymoon. Last year’s gleaming Lust for Lifepresented alt-pop’s quintessential sad girl as actually—could it be?—happy. “Mariners Apartment Complex,” her first new solo single since that album, goes one step further. It posits a Lana Del Rey who is not only a fully rounded character but also a port in a storm, as recognizable and reassuring as the old AM radio staples the song updates.

She revels in her accumulated powers here. It’s her first collaboration with Jack Antonoff, a producer who was so ubiquitous last year that his presence on a track could be distracting, but that isn’t the case here; as with LDR’s previous collaborations, including with the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach across Ultraviolence, this one becomes fully hers. Musically, it’s a somber 1970s-style rock ballad with piano, acoustic guitar, and swooping strings. The lyrics, which she whispers as much as sings, are sly and sphinx-like as usual, referring to pop culture like it’s a modern Greek mythology. Through it all, she insists that she’s not what we thought she was—she’s stronger. “I ain’t no candle in the wind,” she declares, and then, later, “You're lost at sea, then I'll command your boat to me again.” The point is clear: This is Lana’s world, we’re just living in it.

It has been speculated online that this opening line references her 2014 interview with The Guardian titled “I wish I was dead already”, which took place at the Maritime Apartment Complex. After the publication of the interview, Lana tweeted – and deleted – how she regreted trusting The Guardian.

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[Verse 1]
You took my sadness out of context
At the Mariners Apartment Complex

I ain't no candle in the wind

I'm the board, the lightning, the thunder
Kind of girl who's gonna make you wonder
Who you are and who you've been

[Pre-Chorus 1]
And who I've been is with you on these beaches
Your Venice bitch, your die-hard, your weakness
Maybe I could save you from your sins

So, kiss the sky and whisper to Jesus
My, my, my, you found this, you need this
Take a deep breath, baby, let me in

[Chorus]
You lose your way, just take my hand
You're lost at sea, then I'll command your boat to me again
Don't look too far, right where you are, that's where I am
I'm your man
I'm your man


[Verse 2]
They mistook my kindness for weakness
I fucked up, I know that, but Jesus
Can't a girl just do the best she can?

Catch a wave and take in the sweetness
Think about it, the darkness, the deepness
All the things that make me who I am


[Pre-Chorus 2]
And who I am is a big-time believer
That people can change, but you don't have to leave her

When everyone's talking, you can make a stand

'Cause even in the dark I feel your resistance
You can see my heart burning in the distance
Baby, baby, baby, I'm your man (yeah)

[Chorus]
You lose your way, just take my hand
You're lost at sea, then I'll command your boat to me again
Don't look too far, right where you are, that's where I am
I'm your man
I'm your man


[Outro]
Catch a wave and take in the sweetness
Take in the sweetness
You want this, you need this
Are you ready for it?
Are you ready for it?
 Are you ready for it?

“The song is about this time I took a walk late at night with a guy I was seeing, and we stopped in front his friend’s apartment complex, and he put his hand around my shoulder, and he said “I think we are together because we’re both similar, like we’re both really messed up” and I thought it was the saddest thing I’d ever heard. And I said, “I’m not sad, I didn’t know that’s why you thought you were relating to me on that level, I’m actually doing pretty good”. And he was upset, and that’s when I wrote the song. I thought, I had to do so many times, where you know like I had to sort of step on that role where I was showing the way and I was sort of being the brighter light. But that’s why it’s so cool that you’re playing it. ‘Cause I thought that I’d just put it out and it would be one of those things that I’d put out just to have there for myself, but it’s cool being able to share it with people too.”

This song to its core is about guidance, protection, and leadership. I’m excited for her next single and upcoming project, Venice Bitch.

kk