It seems people just can’t help digging a little deeper into the past of Lana Del Rey, to reveal more skeletons in the closet of the woman formerly known as Lizzy Grant… or is that May Jailer?
Stereogum reports today have dug up old audio of an artist called May Jailer and a long lost album called Sirens that is reportedly a pre-Lana/Lizzy collection of torchlight folk songs recorded by the singer.
Stereogum also notes that the discovery has been made on the eve of a newly reissued debut called Lana Del Rey AKA Lizzy Grant, which would in fact make Sirens Del Rey’s first album.
The May Jailer material, which first appeared on YouTube, features Del Rey singing in a bright, fey tone over folk-styled acoustic numbers, that’s in stark contrast to her current ‘Nancy Sinatra with hip hop beats’ incarnation. Lyrically, there’s some similarities to her later hits, “Video Games” and “Born To Die”, with the twee “Birds Of A Feather” and spritely “Song For Nick” both featuring a fascination for “cute” guys.
While the tremulous voice does sound like Del Rey, its wholly conceivable that these ‘lost songs’ are fakes.
However, considering the claims of inauthenticity already levelled at Del Rey, perhaps it’s not so unlikely that she tried the Jay Mailer moniker before landing upon Lizzy Grant.
Del Rey, nee Lizzy Grant, started her musical journey after moving to NYC as a teenage university student, where she began honing her lush romantic sound playing acoustic sets in the Big Apple, including her big break at an open mic night in Williamsburg.
It was around this time that the young Lizzy Grant decided to reinvent herself “It’s nice to be able to try and build the life you want for yourself,” she says. “You have to be brave and try to start again… I wanted a name I could shape the music towards.”
From cancelling her previous Australian tour, to returning to headline Splendour and selling out sideshows in a blink, to questioning her own commitment to her music career; Del Rey has certainly seen her fair share of ups and downs.
Though her debut Born To Die reached #1 in 11 countries, she’s simultaneously had to face criticisms over her live performance, her authenticity as well as claim that her songs aren’t even her own (including some written by a footballer).
Have a listen to a few selections of Sirens below while you ponder, is May Jailer the legitimate genesis of Lana Del Rey? Or is it just a very good case of mimicry?