- Lana Del Rey announced on Tuesday that her new album, “Blue Banisters,” will be released on July 4.
- While many fans were excited, others were horrified by the sepia-toned cover art.
- More than 2,000 people have already signed a petition on Change.org to “ban Lana from PicsArt.”
Lana Del Rey’s latest album announcement has inspired both excitement and horror among fans, many of whom are displeased with the aesthetic direction.
The “Wild at Heart” singer revealed on Tuesday that her new album, “Blue Banisters,” will be released on July 4.
She also unveiled the cover: a selfie that Del Rey previously posted in August 2020 with a sepia-toned filter and inelegant white frame. The title appears at the bottom in a curly blue font.
Fans immediately dubbed the artwork a “PicsArt cover,” referring to a photo-editing app that’s known for its amateur-friendly features, simple effects, and cutesy stickers.
—benjy 💛💛 (@cowboylikebenjy) April 28, 2021
In fact, Del Rey has been accused of being a PicsArt enthusiast before. The artwork for her single “Let Me Love You Like a Woman” weathered similar criticism.
Del Rey also used the same selfie in March to announce something called “Rock Candy Sweet” dropping on June 1, which was previously thought to be her next album. (It may be a single from “Blue Banisters,” or perhaps she just changed her mind about the title and release date.)
Within minutes of Del Rey’s album announcement, the word “picsart” began trending on Twitter.
—sasha ☽ (@diIftaro) April 28, 2021
—sasha ☽ (@diIftaro) April 28, 2021
—anna ♡’s jessie mei li (@ENVYBARNES) April 28, 2021
—kevin (@nfrlore) April 28, 2021
—🌬 CARIANNA 🌾 (@cari_mclellan) April 28, 2021
—homogène (@homogeneousss) April 28, 2021
—Bradley ⚡️ (@thejitterbug759) April 28, 2021
Less than one hour later, a petition began circulating on Change.org to “ban Lana from PicsArt.”
“Lana had terrorized [us] just way too long with these edits, we need to stop her. Sign this for a future of quality album covers from Lana again,” the description reads.
At the time of writing, more than 2,000 fans had already signed.
“I’m signing because I’m a proud Lana stan, she is my religion, the almighty queen of cocaine and Coney island. But the cover for Blue Banisters is the ugliest thing I’ve seen her make,” one person commented. “The Lana subreddit has better fan-made covers.”
“Lana baby if ur reading this we love you but these god awful album covers need to cease,” another wrote.
—𝒞 (@__rosetum) April 28, 2021
The concept of a copy-and-paste, amateurish “PicsArt cover” has gained traction in recent years, with recent examples including Selena Gomez’s “Rare” and Ariana Grande’s “Positions.”
In a 2019 article for Pitchfork, Emma Madden pointed to Tumblr as a possible inspiration for this aesthetic, noting that Taylor Swift’s “Lover” cover “resembles the kind of fan art you’d find on the platform.”
—alison | ia (@t4ylorsel) October 28, 2020
Indeed, “picsart” trending on Twitter may be partially thanks to Billie Eilish, who also announced her new album on Tuesday, titled “Happier Than Ever.”
The cover shows Eilish with her new blonde hair, posing against a neutral background. The title appears in a curvy white font that resembles a retro movie poster.
—𝐧 (@hoefortswift) April 27, 2021
“Picsart has the alt girls on a chokehold,” one person wrote, comparing Eilish’s “Happier Than Ever” cover to Del Rey’s “Let Me Love You Like a Woman.”
—this are dark days (@chemtrailrising) April 27, 2021
Del Rey’s “Blue Banisters” will arrive just four months after her seventh album, “Chemtrails Over the Country Club” — whose cover was criticized for entirely different reasons.
The black-and-white artwork shows Del Rey grinning and surrounded by friends, all huddled around a table.
Shortly after she shared the image, the Grammy nominee commented on her own Instagram post, preemptively defending the apparent number of white people in the group.
“No this was not intended-these are my best friends, since you are asking today,” she wrote — although it was written as a standalone comment, not a reply to anyone in particular.
“As it happens when it comes to my amazing friends and this cover, yes, there are people of color on this record’s picture and that’s all I’ll say about that,” she wrote, adding: “My best friends are rappers, my boyfriends have been rappers.”
Many percieved this comment as an example of Del Rey’s “textbook white fragility problematic white woman” vibe, an accusation that she had already been facing for months.