Back in October, Lana Del Rey joined Nikki Lane onstage in Austin to perform the song “Breaking Up Slowly.” On Friday, the studio version of their collaboration arrived with the release of Del Rey’s new album Chemtrails Over the Country Club.
Written by Del Rey and Lane, it’s a devastating country-tinged ballad about a relationship that disintegrates at a glacial pace — it was also inspired by the romance between George Jones and Tammy Wynette. “I don’t wanna live with a life of regret/I don’t wanna end up like Tammy Wynette” goes one verse, while another begins with a reference to the Possum himself: “George got arrested out on the lawn.”
“Breaking up slowly is a hard thing to do,” the vocalists harmonize in the chorus. “I love you only, and it’s making me blue.”
The duet with Lane may be a hint of things to come from Del Rey, whose last album, Norman Fucking Rockwell!, was released in 2019. In a new interview with Mojo magazine, Del Rey says she and the Nashville singer have recorded a collection of country music covers. She summed up her type of country music as “stark and blue, somewhat outlaw” and cited Johnny Paycheck and Marty Robbins.
Del Rey produced Chemtrails Over the Country Club with Jack Antonoff and Rick Nowels. On Friday, she released a video for the track “White Dress,” which captures her roller-skating down a desert highway.