Blue Banisters (formerly titled Rock Candy Sweet) is the eighth studio album and seventh major-label studio album by Lana Del Rey. It was officially released worldwide on October 22, 2021.
The first indication of Del Rey's seventh major-label studio album came via a tweet posted on November 17, 2020, wherein she remarked that she was working on two albums.
On March 15, 2021, four days prior to the release of her sixth major-label studio album Chemtrails Over the Country Club, Del Rey announced she was working on two future music projects in an interview with MusicWeek. When asked about any potential titles she had in mind for the upcoming albums, she replied:
- “Spending so much time in a close circle of country music friends, I could see one option for a title coming from that. I also have a secondary title I like that summed up 18 months of my life.”
The day following the release of Chemtrails, Del Rey announced the project under the title Rock Candy Sweet, alongside a release date of June 1, 2021.
Del Rey first teased the new title for the project via an Instagram post on April 10, 2021. On April 27, 2021, Del Rey announced that her eighth studio album would be titled Blue Banisters, with a new release date of July 4, 2021. Later that same day, Del Rey posted a clip of the title track and its accompanying music video to Instagram with the message: "Sometimes life makes you change just in time for the next chapter", and to Twitter with: "I'm writing my own story. And no one can tell it but me"
In an interview hosted by Anthony Fantano on May 12, 2021, Mike Dean confirmed his involvement in the production of the album. He also mentioned that he is very familiar with Del Rey's sound and knows other producers she has worked with in the past. Dean also said that he is planning to work with Del Rey in the future as well.
During that time, a reliable insider said that Del Rey had made last-minute changes to the album tracklist and title, completely altering the sound of the album and switching out many of the tracks for others. That same insider said that neither Jack Antonoff nor Rick Nowels had produced songs for this album and that only one Mike Dean-produced song is on the tracklist, this one being "Wildflower Wildfire".
On July 3, 2021, Del Rey uploaded the official album cover to her Instagram, ultimately disproving the album's said retitling. She also uploaded a snippet of a music video of a new song, now known as "Arcadia", which was intended to be released as a single "soonish". Del Rey's management later reposted the album artwork and confirmed that Blue Banisters was scheduled to be released the same year.
On August 23, 2021, an insider revealed that the album would "100%" be released in 2021. The following day, that same insider revealed that the album contains "a bit more" than 11 songs, and that it will include 5-6 reworked songs from previous years - one being a previously unheard song, co-written with Barrie-James O'Neill, which is now known to be "If You Lie Down with Me". They also revealed that "Fine China", "I Can Fly", "Rock Candy Sweet", and "Wild One" all once appeared on an early version of the tracklist.
On September 8, 2021, "Arcadia" was released as the fourth single of the album, and the album was made available for preorder. The same day, Del Rey revealed the tracklist of the album, which has 15 tracks and includes Chemtrails over the Country Club outtake "Dealer", leaked Ultraviolence outtakes "Cherry Blossom", "Living Legend", and "Nectar of the Gods", and an outtake of an unreleased album featuring The Last Shadow Puppets, "Thunder".
Appearing on the April 2021 cover of MOJO, Del Rey expressed her interest in the country genre, telling the magazine that she had worked with Nikki Lane, who appeared on the Chemtrails track "Breaking Up Slowly", a cover album of country songs and another album of folk songs. In the article, she went on to describe her taste as "stark and blue, somewhat outlaw", and listed Hank Williams, Bobbie Gentry, Patsy Cline, Tammy Wynette, Marty Robbins and Johnny Paycheck as sources of inspiration.
On March 20, 2021, the day of the album's announcement, Del Rey shared two Instagram stories wherein she responded to a Harper’s Bazaar article titled “Lana Del Rey Can’t Qualify Her Way Out Of Being Held Accountable”, writing:
- “Just want to say thank you again for the kind articles like this one and for reminding me that my career was built on cultural appropriation and glamorizing domestic abuse. I will continue to challenge those thoughts on my next record June 1 titled Rock Candy Sweet.”
The article was critical of comments made by Del Rey prior to the release of Chemtrails regarding race and inclusivity, specifically calling Del Rey's comment - "I have always been extremely inclusive without even trying to" - "defensive" and "unnecessary". In her post, Del Rey countered that the comment "would have been unnecessary if no one had significantly criticized everything about [Chemtrails Over the Country Club] to begin with. But you did. And I want revenge."
|1.||"Text Book"||Lana Del Rey, Gabe Simon||Del Rey, Simon, Zach Dawes||5:03|
|2.||"Blue Banisters"||Del Rey, Simon||Del Rey, Simon||4:52|
|3.||"Arcadia"||Del Rey, Drew Erickson||Del Rey, Erickson||4:23|
|4.||"Interlude - The Trio"||N/A||N/A||1:16|
|5.||"Black Bathing Suit"||Del Rey, Erickson, Dawes||Del Rey, Dawes, Dean Reid||5:18|
|6.||"If You Lie Down with Me"||Del Rey, Erickson, Barrie-James O'Neill||Del Rey, Erickson||4:25|
|7.||"Beautiful"||Del Rey, Erickson||Del Rey, Erickson||3:36|
|8.||"Violets for Roses"||Del Rey, Erickson||Del Rey, Erickson||4:15|
|9.||"Dealer"||Del Rey, Dawes, Miles Kane, Loren Humphrey, Tyler Parkford||Del Rey, Humphrey, Dawes||4:34|
|10.||"Thunder"||Del Rey, Dawes||Del Rey, Dawes, Reid||4:19|
|11.||"Wildflower Wildfire"||Del Rey, Mike Dean, Sage Skolfield, Sean Solymar||Del Rey, Dean||4:46|
|12.||"Nectar of the Gods"||Del Rey, O'Neill||Del Rey, O'Neill||4:20|
|13.||"Living Legend"||Del Rey, O'Neill||Del Rey, O'Neill||4:01|
|14.||"Cherry Blossom"||Del Rey, Rick Nowels||Del Rey, O'Neill, Nowels||3:18|
|15.||"Sweet Carolina"||Del Rey, Alana Champion, Chuck Grant, Robert Grant Jr.||Del Rey, Erickson||3:24|
- You can find the full Blue Banisters outtake list here.
"Rock Candy Sweet" was the album's original title track, as the album was named after it at the time. However after the album's major overhaul, the track was scrapped, and the album was renamed to Blue Banisters. Currently, much about it is unknown. The song may have been an outtake of Del Rey's previous record, Chemtrails Over the Country Club, where it may have been titled as "Loved You Then and Now".[speculation 1]
Ultraviolence outtake "Fine China" was reported to have been included in an early tracklist of the album, however it was scrapped. It was most likely cut after Del Rey's last minute changes. Because the leaked outtakes included in the album were their leaked final versions, except for "Cherry Blossom" and "If You Lie Down with Me", the said version meant for the album is most likely the final version meant for Ultraviolence, produced by Dan Auerbach.
Another Ultraviolence outtake, "I Can Fly", was reconsidered to be featured on a record the second time around, this time for Blue Banisters, however it wasn't included. It was most likely cut after Del Rey's last minute changes. The said version meant to be for the album is the same as the one used for the Big Eyes movie.
Paradise and Honeymoon outtake "Wild One" is another song that was reported to have been included in an early tracklist of the album, however, it was scrapped. It was most likely cut after Del Rey's last minute changes. The version meant for the album is most likely its 2015 mix, presumably the version meant for Honeymoon.
- Lana Del Rey (@lanadelrey). "Bro I’m working on 2 albums and excitedly and happily donating a million dollars throughout the nation. If I responded to everything I would be 🤷🏻♂️". Twitter. Access date: March 21, 2021
- George Garner. "Lana Del Rey - The Music Week Interview". MusicWeek. Access date: March 20, 2021
- Lana Del Rey. "ROCK CANDY 🍭 SWEET June 1". Instagram. Access date: March 20, 2021
- Lana Del Rey. Instagram. Access date: April 28, 2021
- Lana Del Rey. "BLUE BANISTERS Album out July 4". Instagram. Access date: April 28, 2021
- Lana Del Rey. "Sometimes life makes you change just in time for the next chapter". Twitter. Access date: April 28, 2021
- Lana Del Rey. "Album out later later… Single out soonish. Have a good fourth x". Instagram. Access date: July 3, 2021
- Lana Del Rey. "TBD". Instagram. Access date: July 3, 2021
- "Lana Del Rey speaks: "I Really Was That Girl Who Was Pure Of Soul." MOJO. Access date: March 22, 2021
- Iman Sultan. "Lana Del Rey Can't Qualify Her Way Out of Being Held Accountable". Harper's Bazaar. Access date: March 22, 2021
- Tara Mahadevan. "Lana Del Rey Says Next Album ‘Rock Candy Sweet’ Will ‘Challenge’ Cultural Appropriation Narrative". Complex. Access date: March 22, 2021
- Lana Del Rey. "TBD". Instagram. Access date: July 3, 2021
- This is speculation and should not be relied upon. It has not been confirmed by any official sources, but has been reported by Eclipse, who is considered a reliable insider by the community.