You Already Know Lana Del Rey’s ‘A&W’ Isn’t About Root Beer
Lana Del Rey is back with an epic seven-minute song, “A&W,” from her upcoming ninth album, Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd, out March 24 via Interscope.
The seven-minute track is classic Lana in pretty much every way imaginable, all bad love and Americana symbolism wrapped up the decision to turn a classic root beer brand, A&W, into an acronym for something else entirely: “Call him up, come in to my bedroom,” Del Rey sings on the hook, “Ended up, we fuck on the hotel floor/It’s not about having someone to love me anymorе/This is the experiеnce of being an American whore.”
As if that weren’t enough, “A&W” boasts an extended outro that finds Del Rey harkening back to some of her early hip-hop-inspired productions, centered around an interpolation of — wait for it — Little Anthony and the Imperials’ 1960 R&B hit, “Shimmy, Shimmy, Ko Ko Bop.”
“A&W” is the second song Del Rey has shared from Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd, following the title track. The album, which follows 2021’s Blue Banisters, features guest appearances from Jon Batiste, Jack Antonoff’s Bleachers, Father John Misty, Tommy Genesis, SYML, and Riopy. Del Rey produced the album alongside Antonoff, Mike Hermosa, Drew Erickson, Zach Dawes, and Benji.
In a new conversation with Billie Eilish in Interview, Del Rey offered a few more details about the album, noting it’s been finished for about a year and that the title was almost the even longer “Did You Know That There’s a Tunnel Under Ocean Blvd Pearl Watch Me on Ring a Bell Psycho Lifeguard.” Del Rey also said she wrote the song “Margaret” for Jack Antonoff about his fiancé, actress Margaret Qualley, and compared the way she approached the album to her 2019 classic, Norman Fucking Rockwell!
“It’s funny, this album felt totally effortless,” Del Rey said. “When I did Norman Fucking Rockwell! it was about world-building, whereas this was straight vibing.”