Geographically speaking, she's at the midcentury home in the Hollywood Hills that she's rented for the past year, lounging on a mod patio chair on the circular back deck that overlooks a glinting turquoise pool, a back canyon to the Sunset Strip, another hill, and, on less smoggy days, the Pacific Ocean. Her lease is up at the end of the week, and just inside, her belongings are half-packed for an impending move across town to a historic house she recently bought.
"I love to dance--just never thought I would to my music."
"I just thought Elvis was the most handsome person I had ever seen."
"I loved the mysticism, the idea of something bigger, the idea of a divine plan."
"Sometimes when I write about my feelings, about what sounds like a person, I'm actually writing about the way I felt when I was completely inebriated, which was really good--until it wasn't working for me anymore."
One of the apartments she stayed in was that of her then-boyfriend, Steven Mertens, a fixture in New York's alt-rock and antifolk scenes. He wound up producing her first album, Lana Del Ray a.k.a. Lizzy Grant, which was eventually re-recorded by David Kahne for the independent label 5 Points Records. The "Ray" would change to "Rey" by her breakout sophomore release, of course, but the title of her debut spelled out in plain letters that a transformation was afoot.