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Lana Del Rey Embraces the Sweet Memories on Surprise Single ‘The Grants’

The track features a sweet nod to some of music’s greatest, uncredited background singers

Lana Del Rey

Chuck Grant*

Lana Del Rey’s soothing vocals over the soft sounds of a piano. It’s the type of sonic beauty we’ve come to expect from the beloved songstress. On Tuesday, Del Rey surprise-released “The Grants,” the opening song of her upcoming album, Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd, which features a nod to some of music’s greatest background singers.

“The Grants” — named after Del Rey’s own family — opens with background singers Melodye Perry, Pattie Howard, and Shikena Jones recording the backing vocals for the song as they receive direction. “One more time, you ready?” one woman instructs, before they sing Del Rey’s chorus to perfection, and the song officially begins.

The piano chords of the sweet song begin as Del Rey asks a mystery lover if they’ll truly have a chance of being together forever. “Do you think about heaven? Do you think about me?” she sings. “My pastor told me, ‘When you leave, all you take is your memories. And I’m gonna take mine of you with me.”

The backing vocals of Perry, Howard, and Jones — who were all featured in the documentary 20 Feet from Stardom, which highlighted the world of background vocalists — shine alongside Del Rey’s voice during the second chorus and over the bridge where Del Rey shares an ode to her family.

“My sister’s first-born child, I’m gonna take that too with me. My grandmother’s last smile, I’m gonna take that too with me,” she sings. “It’s a beautiful life. Remember that too for me.”

The family affair theme of the bridge (and song title) arrives well-timed as her father, Rob Grant, announced his debut album Lost at Sea several weeks ago. Dubbed an “accidental musician,” he’s set to release a collection of piano tracks, two of which — “Hollywood Bowl” and the LP’s title track — feature vocals from Del Rey.

“The Grants” follows Del Rey’s release of “A&W” and “Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd.” She recently spoke to Rolling Stone U.K. about the record and gave the most Del Rey-esque answers about her love for music.  “Music is like a little bird who is always right on my shoulder,” she said. “Even when I’m looking for respite someone always comes in and plays a little tune and I’m like, ‘Shit, it’s happening again.’”

Del Rey’s LP is set to be released on March 24.

From Rolling Stone US