Unless you're the sort who frequents indie-music websites, there's a very good chance you've never heard of Lana Del Rey. Which is understandable, because she hasn't put out a full-length album yet. Based on her breakout song "Video Games," you might assume that Del Rey is a likeable enough singer-songwriter whose self-consciously sultry music probably won't inspire much passion one way or the other once she becomes a little better known. In reality, Del Rey has inspired nearly as much hand-wringing as Tyler, The Creator—only the issue here isn't lyrical content but concepts like "authenticity" and "underground legitimacy" that most people tire of talking about by the time they graduate from college. In short, the conversation boils to whether Lana Del Rey is too beautiful in a conventional pop star sense to qualify as "indie"—or if "indie" and its audience have become so blinkered that it took Del Rey's ascent to make the meaninglessness of the term obvious.
Not that it really matters, because based on the songs she's released so far (and, it must be said, her highly telegenic image), Del Rey stands a very good chance of finding a big pop audience with Born 2 Die, her debut album, which is set for release in early 2012. (Amazon lists the record's release as Jan. 30 in the U.K.) You can watch video below of Del Rey performing the breathy title track recently in Paris. [via Pitchfork]