It’s only been two months since Lana Del Rey released an album, and yet she’s already back with more. On Wednesday, the 35-year-old singer announced that her eighth, Blue Bannisters, is set for a July 4 release. That may cause one to expect a return to her Americana aesthetic, but the latest Lana instead immediately drew comparisons to the photo editing app PicsArt. Some even questioned if the cover was a joke.
Blue Bannisters may not be Del Rey’s only album in store. A day after her last, Chemtrails Over the Country Club, she announced another, titled Rock Candy Sweet, set for a June 1 release. It may be that Del Rey changed the album title and date, because each cover features the same selfie, though with entirely different aesthetics. The first is heavily filtered, to the point that Del Rey’s eyes appear to be black. Her skin looks smooth and glowing, her hair wavy, her choice of accessories—a beaded necklace spelling out the word “aloha.”
The second, on the other hand, is washed out. It highlights the frizziness of her hair, almost calling to mind teenaged Taylor Swift. She’s wearing her signature winged-tip eyeliner, but otherwise appears to be makeup-free, with her freckles on full display. And then there’s the art: Del Rey is framed around a set of quotation marks, and the album title is embellished with curlicues. It’s very much DIY—the opposite of what you’d expect from a pop star. She previously teased Blue Bannisters in a similarly amateur image, though also filtered, but didn’t specify a date. All three are a marked departure from Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass, the poetry book she released last year.