Background[edit | edit source]
On January 28, 2018, on the red carpet of the 60th Annual Grammy Awards where Del Rey's previous effort Lust for Life, released 8 months prior, was up for nomination for Best Pop Vocal Album, Del Rey spoke to Pitchfork about a new track "Bartender" that didn't "belong to a record yet".
On February 8, 2018, at Ryan Seacrest Foundation, Del Rey composed a small ukulele song with four chords titled "Starry Eyed". She promised to finish this song and to dedicate it to the foundation.
On February 16, 2018, at a show in San Diego revealed the title of a song "Sylvia", inspired by writer Sylvia Plath, indicating she had been working on a new project. The song was retitled to "Sylvia Plath," until it was finally named "Hope Is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman like Me to Have – but I Have It".
At the end of the next month, March 30, Del Rey posted a short video to Instagram of her singing "Happiness Is a Butterfly" which she described as her "new song".
Throughout early 2018, Del Rey was photographed with multiple musicians such as Marina (then known as Marina and the Diamonds) and Jack Antonoff on February 26, Marina, Florence and the Machine and FKA Twigs on March 7, and Wiz Khalifa on March 19, leading to speculation that any or all of the musicians could be featured on her upcoming project.
Upon the release of "Mariners Apartment Complex", radio DJ Annie Mac asked "Is this [song from] a bigger project? Are you seeing an album coming out of these sessions?" to which Del Rey confirmed that she had an album saying "We have a collection of songs that I've sequenced and I really love."
On September 18, 2018, during an interview with Zane Lowe on Beats 1 Radio, Del Rey premiered "Venice Bitch". During the interview, Del Rey announced that the album will be titled Norman Fucking Rockwell and will have 11 tracks. The information was also confirmed by an article from The Fader. She also announced the title track during the interview. Del Rey came up with the title for the record in March.
During an Instagram live on December 30, 2018, Del Rey expressed her desire to release a song on January 8, 2019, but was unsure. She also confirmed that the album is done and mastered and went on to describe it as "deeply introspective" and on "some sad girl Shit [sic]".
On January 1, 2019, Del Rey posted a video on Instagram with her listening to a new unknown song, whose title is yet to be revealed, but later she deleted the video. Next day, Del Rey posted a new video containing new lyrics from "Sylvia Plath". She also announced that a new single titled "Hope Is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman like Me to Have - but I Have It" would be released on January 9, 2019 and apologized in advance for upcoming cancellations of shows. However, this announcement created confusion because it was unclear whether "Sylvia Plath" was renamed into "Hope Is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman like Me to Have - but I Have It" or if it was a different song. Days later, this video was also deleted from Instagram, but it is still available on her Facebook account. 
On August 7, 2019, an album sampler with thirty second snippets of each song from the album surfaced online through a French music website called Qobuz.
During an Instagram livestream on September 4, 2019, Del Rey revealed the album was originally titled "Bird World."
Production[edit | edit source]
Production for the album was mainly handled by Jack Antonoff (excluding "Doin' Time", "The Next Best American Record" and "Bartender") marking the first time Del Rey had collaborated with the musician. Antonoff and Del Rey started working in January 2018, and by the following March, Del Rey explained she knew the record would be nearly ready by Labor Day. When asked how she got the point of wanting to make the record with Antonoff, Del Rey explained:
- “That was such a happy accident for me, I knew Jack [Antonoff] seven years ago when we were both making records at the same time with Emile [Haynie] - he was in fun. - but I didn't really reconnect with him until January , and he was like "We should definitely sit down and just start doing stuff". I told him I had three songs that I already liked for a new record, that I wasn't really writing music, and we sat down at his studio in New York and I mean he kind of started everything, 'cause he would just play chords for hours, and like, he's so good at piano, some of the stuff he writes, like, just melodically, is really - it's kind of classical - and in my case it ended up turning more folky. He made it really easy for me to just riff over everything he was doing, and in our first week I had two songs I just thought were maybe like two of the best songs I had written. He just has a lot of truth in him.”
In regards to Antonoff's production history being mainly pop oriented, Del Rey explained that when meeting him for the first time she was "expected to get in there with [Antonoff] and for him to have like all of these four-to-the-floor beats already like mixed and produced" however was surprised that he sat at a piano and started playing chords which Del Rey felt had a "cheery, Sgt. Peppery feel". Del Rey was so impressed by the chord progressions he was playing that she recounted:
- “For the first few months I worked with [Antonoff], he would play me like 5 chords in a row that would end up becoming a new song each time and I would ask him like - I would legitimately ask him - "are you sure I'm allowed to have this? Like, do you not wanna save that progression for yourself?" and he thought that was hilarious he was like "No, I've been dying to like meet you and give you this".”
Sound and writing[edit | edit source]
When asked about the creative path Del Rey wanted to go down with the album, Del Rey explained the album was "in the vein of a Laurel Canyon sound" but that the album had "transformed a little bit because there are some surf elements to some of the songs". She clarified the album was not "really surf-y like Dick Dale" but featured a lot of electric guitars with a little Red Hot Chili Peppers influence.
Artwork[edit | edit source]
On December 30, 2018, Del Rey confirmed the album cover was shot but was uncertain on using it as her manager Ben Mawson didn't like it. The original album cover was instead used for the Urban Outfitters exclusive vinyl. She continued that she has another idea in mind and is planning on shooting it soon, while also confirming that it will not be shot by previous and frequent collaborator, Neil Krug. According to Del Rey, Steven Klein was supposed to shoot the second cover art. However, Del Rey posted the artwork to social media on July 31st, which was shot by her sister, Chuck Grant and it features model Duke Nicholson. The two appear to be on a boat, with the American flag in the background.
Release and promotion[edit | edit source]
When asked about her new record, Del Rey explained "I don't think [the album] will be out until the top of  just because I actually am working on a little book of poetry. I think I'm just going to self publish it and put it out before hand." On November 3, 2018, RMF Classic Radio reported that Norman Fucking Rockwell would be released at the end of March, 2019. The station added that album will have 11 tracks and a lot of electric guitar, which Del Rey confirmed during her interview with Zane Lowe, however no announcement from any of Del Rey's official channels backed up their claim. On December 5, 2018, MTV UK also reported the album would be out on March 29, 2019; again with no followed official confirmation. Del Rey also liked a tweet that Dazed magazine tweeted on December 31 linking an article that mentioned this same March date, furthering speculation.
During January 2019, a press release from Universal Music Canada reported that the album was set for a mid-2019 release, and not March 29, as previously alleged by MTV UK. In Del Rey's interview with i-D magazine discussing the Gucci Guilty campaign published on February 7, 2019, March was again disclosed as the release date. However, the official release date has not been confirmed. On February 22, 2019, Del Rey's manager Ben Mawson replied to a fan comment regarding the albums release stating they didn't have an official date and that it would be known when they did, adding "good music takes time to finish", despite Del Rey previously stating that the album was finished back in December 2018. After much silence, on March 20, 2019, Del Rey responded to a fan question regarding the whereabouts of the album via her unofficial Twitter account (@MissDaytona), she replied "album is done lil b but who knows when it will come out. [sic]".
On June 22, 2019, Del Rey finally confirmed during a concert in Dublin, Ireland that the album will be out in August. Following, on August 1, 2019, the official artwork and tracklist were released along with the pre-order, and an album trailer featuring clips from "Doin' Time", "Venice Bitch", "Mariners Apartment Complex" and "Norman Fucking Rockwell".
On August 17, 2019, 13 days prior to the album's release date some orders from Del Rey's website shipped early resulting in the whole album, with an exception of "How to Disappear", to leak in low quality. On August 27, 2019, the whole album leaked in high quality for the same reasons.
Tour[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Norman Fucking Rockwell Tour
Singles[edit | edit source]
On September 7, 2018, Del Rey announced on her Instagram and Twitter profiles the first single to be released from the album would be - "Mariners Apartment Complex", to be released on September 12. "Venice Bitch" was released 6 days later on September 18 as the second single from the album. Del Rey expressed interest in releasing a third single in October 2018, but was unsure as she felt it was more of a "stand-alone song" and more "serious" and "thoughtful" than fun.
On January 2, 2019, through an Instagram post, Del Rey confirmed "Hope Is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman like Me to Have - but I Have It" as the third single off the album, to be released on January 9, 2019. The post was later removed. On January 9, 2019, several music sites reported, per a press release, that these three singles were solely "fan or buzz singles" and that the official first single from the album was still forthcoming. Other sites claimed that the appearance of these tracks on the final tracklist was unclear.. On March 4, in an interview for Elle Magazine, Del Rey said the three singles released so far are her favorite songs in the album, and that was the reason she decided to release them first; she also expressed her intention to release two more singles before the album's release. Del Rey did not deny or confirm the inclusion of the three first singles in the album.
Del Rey's cover of "Doin' Time" was released as a single on May 17, 2019 and its appearance on the album was unclear as well, as it was promoted as a standalone single for the Sublime documentary. Eventually all four tracks formed part of the album tracklist when Del Rey revealed it on July 31, 2019.
Commercial performance[edit | edit source]
Fourteen days after the albums release, it reached number-one on the iTunes world chart.
Certifications[edit | edit source]
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Gold|
Tracklist[edit | edit source]
Del Rey posted the tracklist on July 31st, along with the cover art, via Twitter. The album has 14 tracks. 
|1.||"Norman fucking Rockwell"||Lana Del Rey, Jack Antonoff||Antonoff, Del Rey||4:08|
|2.||"Mariners apartment complex"||Del Rey, Antonoff||Antonoff, Del Rey||4:07|
|3.||"Venice bitch"||Del Rey, Antonoff||Antonoff, Del Rey||9:37|
|4.||"Fuck it I love you"||Del Rey, Antonoff, Andrew Watt, Louis Bell||Antonoff, Del Rey||3:38|
|5.||"Doin' time"||Adam Keefe Horovitz, Adam Nathaniel Yaunch, Bradley James Nowell, Dorothy Heyward, DuBose Heyward, Maggie Plum, George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, Marshall Raymond Goodman, Rick Rubin||Andrew Watt, Happy Perez||3:22|
|6.||"Love song"||Del Rey, Antonoff||Antonoff, Del Rey||3:49|
|7.||"Cinnamon Girl"||Del Rey, Antonoff||Antonoff, Del Rey||5:00|
|8.||"How to disappear"||Del Rey, Antonoff||Antonoff, Del Rey||3:48|
|9.||"California"||Del Rey, Zach Dawes||Dawes, Antonoff, Del Rey||5:05|
|10.||"The Next Best American Record"||Del Rey, Rick Nowels||Nowels, Kieron Menzies, Dean Reid, Mighty Mike||5:49|
|11.||"The greatest"||Del Rey, Antonoff||Antonoff, Del Rey||5:00|
|12.||"Bartender"||Del Rey, Nowels||Del Rey, Nowels||4:23|
|13.||"Happiness is a butterfly"||Antonoff, Del Rey, Nowels||Antonoff, Del Rey, Nowels||4:32|
|14.||"hope is a dangerous thing for a woman like me to have – but I have it"||Del Rey, Antonoff||Del Rey, Antonoff||5:24|
References[edit | edit source]
- Lana Del Rey song playing on Chuck Grant's Instagram story
- Lana Del Rey with Marina
- Lana Del Rey with Marina and Jack Antonoff
- Lana Del Rey with Marina, Florence and the Machine and FKA Twigs
- Lana Del Rey with Wiz Khalifa
- Hussein, Wandera (September 18, 2018) "Lana Del Rey announces Norman Fucking Rockwell album, shares “Venice Bitch”"
- Lana Del Rey on Facebook: "Happy New Year
- Steven Klein to shoot second NFR cover
- MTV Confirms the release date of the album
- https://www.dazeddigital.com/music/article/42724/1/lana-del-rey-new-song-norman-fucking-rockwell Dazed magazine reaffirms album release date
- Universal Music Canada press release about Norman Fucking Rockwell release
- Ben Mawson’s comment regarding NFR’s release
- Lana Del Rey via @MissDaytona Twitter account
- Lana Del Rey on Instagram: "Two end of summer jams for ya out next week/The first is called/Mariners Apartment Complex"
- Lana Del Rey on Instagram: "Mariners Apartment Complex @jackantonoff @yourgirlchuck"
- Lana announces new song to be released January 9th
- Universal Music's press release about Norman Fucking Rockwell & it's 3 "fan tracks"
- William Cowen, Trace. (January 9, 2019). "Lana Del Rey Drops New Song "Hope Is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman Like Me to Have - But I Have It". Complex. [Access date: January 9, 2019]
- Colburn, Randall. (January 8, 2019). "Lana Del Rey unveils new single “hope is a dangerous thing…”:Stream". Consequence of Sound. [Access date: January 9, 2019]
- Lana Del Rey Interview for Elle Magazine Canada.
- Lana Del Rey reveals 'NFR' tracklist
- Lana Del Rey drops first music video from Norman F—ing Rockwell, featuring two songs