Music Feeds’ Love Letter To A Record series asks artists to reflect on their relationship with music and share stories about how the music they love has influenced their lives.
New Zealand queer pop artist Jack Panther released the new EP, Why Don’t You Come Over, on Friday, 20th May. Here, Panther pens a lover letter to Lana Del Rey’s 2o14 alum, Ultraviolence. Watch the music video for Jack Panther’s recent single, ‘Ski Lift 001’, below.
Jack Panther on Lana Del Rey’s ‘Ultraviolence’
Dear Queen of Melancholy, Miss Lana Del Rey,
I first fell for Ultraviolence when I was an angsty teen. I had just turned 16 when you released the lead single ‘West Coast’. I was in the very strange space of navigating high school as a pubescent, closeted teen. Around this time I was listening to music a lot. Like, A LOT. On the bus to and from school, at school (when I could find a way to hide my earphones from teachers), and watching Dad’s indoor soccer games on a Thursday night, which I would go to in the hopes he’d sneak me a beer after.
When I first listened to ‘West Coast’, I remember I was watching the accompanying music video. Its noir, bad-arse and slow movements gripped me. I was like Nicki Minaj on pickle juice. The only thing I could compare it to was James Bond movies, which blew my mind as a kid. The way the song flows is so out of this world, the production, writing – to be honest I thought everything about it was just so unique and cool.
The tracks that first drew me into the album were ‘Shades Of Cool’ and ‘Brooklyn Baby’. They’re just so dreamy and moody; the swirling electric guitars, the huge vocal delays and the dark live drums. It’s like a massive full sounding band, something so different to your previous album, Born To Die.
I think it’s just such a flex being able to release an album like Born To Die, see it do incredibly well, and then sway towards something so vastly different – how iconic. The visuals to the album grabbed me too. There was almost quite a grunge, 70s feel to it. I think this album shaped me a lot, and my taste in art; or maybe this was just my first time realising it? Either way this record blew my mind.
Every now and then, on a rainy, autumn night, there’s a good chance you’ll hear the album blasting from my car in the Auckland CBD. I can’t even begin to describe the impact your music had on me growing up. Ultraviolence was an incredible album, possibly your most underrated but for sure my favourite.
Sincerely yours, Love JP x