"White Mustang" is a song by Lana Del Rey. It was co-written with Rick Nowels and co-produced with Nowels, Kieron Menzies and Dean Reid. It is featured on her fifth studio album and fourth major-label studio album, Lust for Life.
On June 8, 2017, Del Rey shared a video on Instagram and Facebook of herself listening to a snippet of the song. It was confirmed that the song was titled "White Mustang" and would be featured on Lust for Life. On July 6, 2017, Del Rey posted a second video of herself listening to a snippet of the song.
Critical reception and composition
"White Mustang" is composed in the key of F# minor and runs for exactly two minutes and forty-four seconds, making it the shortest song on Lust for Life. Jon O'Brien of Prefixmag complimented the song for Del Rey's whistling during the outro, noting that it was an intriguing production touch. Liddy Cudmore of Paste grouped the song alongside "Cherry", saying that "these are soundtracks for film noirs that never existed, right down to the slow-down-the-stairs-footstep percussion".
Del Rey performed the song live for the first time at her Lust for Life listening party and performance hosted by Spotify at No Vacancy in Los Angeles, California, on July 20, 2017. Del Rey performed the song live again at Lollapalooza Paris in Paris, France, on July 23, 2017 and it was apart of the setlist for many of her 2017 summer festival shows and headlining shows in cities including London and New York City as part of the small promotional tour in support of Lust for Life. In 2018 the song was included as part of the setlist for the LA to the Moon Tour.
|Released||September 13, 2017|
|Location||Los Angeles, California|
|Vevo views||39+ Million views|
On July 27, 2017, Del Rey announced during a livestream on Instagram that a music video for the song would be released. She described it as futuristic, similarly to the "Love" and "Lust for Life" music videos and would be directed by Rich Lee. On July 28, Del Rey revived her defunct Twitter account (@MissDaytona), to post a quick four second preview of the official music video. On September 7, 2017, Del Rey shared a longer clip of the music video, and on September 12, she shared another clip of the beginning of the video and confirmed the release date to be September 13, 2017.
Many fans suspect that the footage was originally intended to be used for a video for "The Next Best American Record," an outtake from Lust for Life that leaked before the album was released (before seeing an official release on Norman Fucking Rockwell!), similarly to how the footage intended for the original "Ultraviolence" music video was recycled and used for the "Freak" music video or the footage for "Happiness Is a Butterfly" was used for "Mariners Apartment Complex" and "Venice Bitch". This theory comes from the fact that many of the visuals and themes used in the "White Mustang" video are strongly expressed in the lyrics of "The Next Best American Record". A video that was taken behind the scenes of "White Mustang" where Del Rey is singing a part of that song, further supports the theory.
Behind the scenes
- A killer is also mentioned in "Happiness is a butterfly" and "Serial Killer".
- A snippet of "Get Free" can be heard in the song's music video.
- A white mustang is present in the "Born to Die" music video.
- Lightning is also mentioned in "Blue Banisters", "Carmen", "Happiness is a Butterfly", "Mariners Apartment Complex" and "Thunder".
- Many of the visuals and themes used in the song's music video are strongly connected to the lyrics of "The Next Best American Record".
- Whistling can be heard in "Every Man Gets His Wish" as well.
- White cars are also mentioned in "Axl Rose Husband", "Come When You Call Me America" and "Diet Mountain Dew".
- The line "I like(d) you a lot" is also used in "Music to Watch Boys To", "You Can Be the Boss" and "Breaking My Heart", and it’s similar to "I like you quite a lot" in "Lolita" and "I like you lots" in "Wild At Heart".
- The lyric "Everybody said you're a killer" is thematically similar to the lyric "your love is deadly" from "Without You".
- The lyric "Hold me in your arms" is used in "Never Let Me Go".
- Album version — 2:44
- Instrumental version — 2:45
- Music video version — 4:41
The song was covered by Cat Power on her album Covers in 2022.
- Lana Del Rey — vocals, songwriting, production
- Rick Nowels — songwriting, production, piano, synthesizer, Mellotron
- Kieron Menzies — production, engineering, mixing, drums, percussion, synthesizer, strings
- Dean Reid — production, engineering, mixing, drums, bass, synthesizer, effects
- Trevor Yasuda — engineering, keyboards
- Chris Garcia — engineering
- Adam Ayan — mastering
- Published by R-Rated Music administered by EMI April Music Inc. (Global Music Rights) / Sony / ATV Music Publishing (ASCAP)
- Recorded at The Green Building, Los Angeles and Hampstead Studios, London
- Mastered at Gateway Mastering, Portland, Maine
|Slovakia Digital Singles (ČNS IFPI)||93|
- Del Rey, Lana (June 8, 2017). ["White Mustang" snippet 1]. Facebook.
- Del Rey, Lana (July 6, 2017). ["White Mustang" snippet 2]. Facebook.
- O'Brien, Jon (July 25, 2017). "Lana Del Rey - Lust for Life Album Review". Prefixmag.com.
- Cudmore, Libby (July 26, 2017). "Lana Del Rey: Lust For Life Review". Paste.
- xx on Twitter. (July 28, 2017).
- Del Rey, Lana (September 7, 2017). "WHITE MUSTANG". Twitter.
- Miller, Jordan (September 13, 2017). "Lana Del Rey's 'White Mustang' Video Soundtracked to 'Best American Record' Makes Way More Sense". BreatheHeavy.com.
- "SK - Singles Digital - Top 100". ČNS IFPI. (Archive to 201730)