This haunting anthem to troubled love among the beautiful people finds Lana Del Rey duetting with Stevie Nicks. Speaking with KROQ, Del Rey explained how the collaboration came about, saying: "I kind of thought I had finished the record a couple of times and one of those times I really felt like I wanted [another] woman on the record."
Asked what it was like to work with Nicks, Del Rey replied: "She was amazing. She's just everything you hope she's gonna be. She's so contemporary, and she knows all the new music that's out weekly. She loved the track and she added so much to it."
Del Rey added: "She's one of the few people I know that says the muse is the most important thing to her. More than anything else, her priority is just following the muse wherever it takes her, whether it's a 60-date tour or new record or solo endeavour. So she's inspirational like that."
The collaboration was set up by Del Rey's producer, Rick Nowels, who'd gone to high school alongside Nicks. Nowels told Genius
: "I've known Stevie for a long time and I wanted Lana and Stevie to know each other. I love hearing their two iconic voices together. I think a real friendship has formed."
Del Rey told V magazine that the track is about rejecting consumerism and the value of artists. "That song is special because it's really a song about surrounding yourself with people who put their art and love first, who do it for the right reasons, not just for the money," she explained.
Nicks told V Magazine that the collaboration changed her forever. "We are witchy sisters and that's it," she said "That's where 'Beautiful People, Beautiful Problems' comes from, because we are trying to ride above all the problems and have hope in everything else, but it's still a world filled with problems no matter how hard we try to change it."
Longtime Del Rey collaborator Justin Parker co-wrote this track. The English songwriter helped pen a majority of the pop singer's early hits including her breakthrough single "Video Games
Working with Stevie Nicks was a daunting prospect for Del Rey, who explained to the BBC: "When she started singing, she told me she wanted to hear me sing something, too. And then I really freaked out!"
She continued: "I said to her over the mic, 'I just sound so quiet compared to you.' And she was like, 'That's OK, you can be my little echo!' I thought that was so cool. I'm not as loud as her. My voice isn't as low as hers. But she loves it for what it is. That, as it was happening, was a career-defining moment for me."
Del Rey said that when she recorded her six chorus vocals for this track, she sung through a sheet of thin white paper in order "to give it a muted quality". The singer added: "I like to play with distance and buffers around the mic for every song depending on what the mood is."