Actress and musician Lola Kirke has released her new song “Better Than Any Drug,” a groovy, retro-sounding pop banger that’s also serving as the lead single of her forthcoming new album, Lady For Sale, out this April.
Over a steady, thumping beat and twangy guitar licks, Kirke lets her playful vocals loose as she sings about being in the swooning throes of a brand new love: “Cause you feel better than any drug / Ooh I think I’m in love.” The song, which mines that infectious, buoyant pop from Madonna’s “Like A Virgin” era, arrives with an equally lively music video premiering on NYLON, below. Shot in black and white by Director Alex Eaton, Kirke dances around her home — shimmying in the kitchen, kicking her feet on the pool table — in a sheer black robe, much like you would if you also developed a new crush.
“Director Alex Eaton and I wanted to honor the Madonna reference in the video, so we pulled a lot from Madonna's ‘90s tour doc Truth of Dare,” Kirke writes of the video in an email. “Since I’m nowhere near the dancer Madonna is, we brought on the wonderful choreographer/actress Angela Trimbur to create movement that felt organic, sexy, and playful, too. What I lack in skill, I make up for in enthusiasm, so I think it turned out really nicely.”
Lady For Sale is Kirke’s second full-length album and will be released on the legendary Third Man Records. She released her debut project, Heart Head West, in 2018, a collection of starry-eyed, country-tinged folk.
Watch “Better Than Any Drug,” below, and read on for an interview with Kirke about the making of “Better Than Any Drug,” the story behind her new album title, and what you can expect to hear on the project.
What are you up to right now — describe your surroundings.
I’m at my kitchen table, staring at some dead flowers and a half-drunk bottle of wine I opened two nights ago and have been too tired to finish.
Tell us about “Better Than Any Drug,” what spurred you to write it?
This song came about after being urged to write something I would have loved when I was 12... which I guess says a lot about how precocious I was as a child! I asked my dear friend and pop genius Holiday Sidewinder to co-write it with me and it ended up sounding a bit like a Madonna song I would have listened to ad nauseam. Director Alex Eaton and I wanted to honor that reference in the video, so we pulled a lot from Madonna’s ‘90s tour doc Truth or Dare. Since I’m nowhere near the dancer Madonna is, we brought on the wonderful choreographer/actress Angela Trimbur to create movement that felt organic, sexy, and playful, too. What I lack in skill, I make up for in enthusiasm so I think it turned out really nicely.
Your new album is called Lady For Sale. Is there a story behind it?
I hadn’t worked as an actress in a long time and the demos I was making for this record weren’t generating any interest. People in the industry on the acting side were naming my weight as the problem, which felt humiliating. On the music side, it was the same refrain: “You need to be like 14 and massive on TikTok.” I began to feel like a product for sale, instead of an artist. The worst part was no one was buying. Then I thought about how many people pursuing their dreams are in that same boat, so I wrote a song about it. Thematically, it’s an outlier on the record — the rest of the album is about falling in love when you're not supposed to really and how wild it is to follow your heart anyway — but the words “Lady for Sale” felt like they captured the sonic aesthetic the most, so we made it the name of the album.
How does it feel to be releasing the project with the legendary Third Man Records?
Incredible! I couldn’t be happier to be working with them. They’re just the coolest. Visiting their office makes me feel like a musical version of Charlie in the Vinyl Chocolate Factory.
What can listeners expect to hear on the new album?
Think like ‘80s Dolly [Parton] hanging out with “Stand Back” Stevie [Nicks] at Donna Summers’ birthday party, which is being held in Tanya Tucker’s RV.