The Best Tracks of 2018, #4


4. Lana Del Rey, “Venice Bitch”

I’ve greatly admired the way Lana Del Rey flirted with novelty status, righted herself, and became one of the more enduring solo acts of this decade. Her concept and persona seem shallow at first glance, but again and again she finds new ways to experiment with her sound. At nine and a half minutes, “Venice Bitch” is certainly a departure, but a stunning one, and her best work since “West Coast” in 2014. From the start it echoes that early-‘70s Laurel Canyon singer-songwriter vibe, but slowly dissolves into a sumptuous extended psychedelic jam, with swirling synths and guitar feedback weaving in and out of the soothing arrangement. Sunny, warm, and woozy, it exudes that California vibe Del Rey has been chasing all these years, and nails it.