Apparently LDR was keen to be on the soundtrack, though. Tarantino's music supervisor Mary Ramos recently said: "...Lana Del Rey is amazing and she has such a Quentin vibe to her and had a few songs she wanted to submit, but Quentin wanted to stay rooted in the period and utilize his memory of KHJ Boss Radio in Los Angeles" (i.e. all the surprisingly mediocre AM radio hits that fill up the soundtrack of Once)
LDR does have such a "Quentin vibe" - that's why I hallucinated her presence in the film. What is that vibe? Entralled by / in thrall to an inherited stock of glamour iconography and retro-sexual archetypes.... a bravura command of an exhausted language.... seductive but reactionary. Exquisite nothingness. (Each time I see a QT I always leave the theater, almost spitting in annoyance, thinking "never again".)
Here's my review of Norman Fucking Rockwell!
“Watch out Adele! There’s another soul lady coming up behind you and her name is Lana Del Rey.”
So said a Top 40 radio deejay last month, transitioning between “Rolling In the Deep” and “Video Games”. This piece of patter wasn’t just a smart way to introduce an unfamiliar, relatively edgy song to mainstream listeners, it was a rather astute bit of music criticism. Think about it: Adele and Lana Del Rey are young women who’ve had their hearts broken and who sing about it in musical idioms that are overtly non-contemporary: Etta James-style Sixties soul, with Adele, and in Lana Del Rey’s case, something less tightly anchored to specific sources but equally old-timey in its evocations of the Fifties and early Sixties. The question both singers raise is “why do these otherwise thoroughly modern women express first-hand feeling s in such second-hand imagery? Why coat something raw and real in this vintage veneer?”
[disco edit of Spin, 2012 piece for their Retro-Activity issue]
[full length mix here]