Stripe's Song of the Day: Lana Del Rey - God Knows I Tried

The dark, moody track is an eruption of fury at the singer's critics with a femme fatale touch

Fabian Hasan Khan
Published : 8 Feb 2023, 10:30 AM
Updated : 8 Feb 2023, 10:30 AM

Stripe's Song of the Day is a regular feature showcasing the music currently stuck in our heads. Every week, contributors will string together their daily picks, and a playlist of the week's tracks will be available on Friday.

In the lyrics to ‘Did you know there’s a tunnel under Ocean Blvd?’, Lana Del Rey references a track from her critically acclaimed third record Honeymoon.

‘God Knows I Tried’ starts out under a blanket of cricket or cicada sounds while the guitar tone, expansive bass and Lana’s vocal performance recalls her majestic femme fatale era, where it felt like she was carrying a gun and knew how to use it. 

The song came at a pivotal moment in her career. Lana burst onto the scene in 2011 with self-made music videos to her songs ‘Video Games’ and ‘Blue Jeans’, which blew up on YouTube. ‘Video Games’, in particular, became a viral sensation and won a spate of awards. Then, in 2012 came the infamous SNL performance. In the lead up to her spot on the show, there had been criticism of hiring such an ‘unproven’ act as the musical guest. The performance, a bit shaky and uneven, spurred a media manhunt that demanded answers about the validity of her signing to a major record label and her singing ability. While the release of her successful debut Born to Die quieted the criticism, it never truly went away. 

‘God Knows I Tried’ feels like a song that responds directly to these questions of ability and inadequacy. The dark, moody track shows both the vulnerability and grit of Lana’s lounge chanteuse act, with lyrics that erupt in primal fury while the music builds to a cathartic escape. 

For those eagerly awaiting her upcoming album next month, it should tide you over. For those new to her work, it’s a great introduction: 

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This article is part of Stripe,'s special publication focusing on culture and society from a youth perspective.