Amber Coffman
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When Ivanka Sings

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Former Dirty Projectors guitarist and vocalist Amber Coffman (now a solo singer-songwriter) reaches peak breathiness in her impersonation of ‘Ivanka Del Rey’ on the chorus of "My Father" when she sings ‘My father is my father’ in an elevated pitch. It’s the highlight of an apt pairing: Lana Del Rey’s melodramatic, nostalgia-drenched initial pre-feminist obsessions with ‘daddies’ - scored by brooding synths and trap beats - and the most “complicated father-daughter dance in the history of American politics”.



The parody, a product of a collaboration between Coffman, comedy hub Super Deluxe and Tennessean musician and comedian Nick Lutsko, excels when Coffman sings - in a manner that matches Ivanka’s poised and precise speech patterns - lyrics that appear to be ambivalent confessions about her relationship with her larger-than-life father (which must have only become more fraught with complications upon his rise from billionaire CEO to POTUS): ‘His brilliance is widely being discredited … My father is strong, my father pushed me/ He disciplined me ... My father’s always offensive/ I am terrified by conversations with him’.



Lyrics like ‘My entire life has almost always been/ A major production’ and ‘I am his daughter and supporter/ So that’s the extent of it’ ring true, the former as an unexpected burst of transparency, the latter as an example of the First Daughter’s noted aptitude for diplomatic ambiguity.



The listener’s suspension of disbelief is nevertheless disrupted by Lutsko’s inability to refrain from placing explicit anti-Trump statements in Ivanka’s mouth, e.g. twisting her statement about the unexpected “level of viciousness” she encountered in Washington D.C. into the lyric ‘My father is a man who is deeply grounded/ In tremendous viciousness’. Nakedly partisan lyrics like ‘He is fundamentally incompetent/ On a global scale’ and ‘My father is a man who uses pure fiction/ To undermine the media’ mar this otherwise exemplary exercise in placing the listener in Ivanka’s (highly expensive and aspirational) shoes while dissecting the extent of her complicity with her father’s controversial decisions and actions. Given Ms. Trump's recent decision to support her father in abandoning an Obama-era initiative designed to narrow the gender pay gap, Ivanka Del Rey's sultry and languorous perspective can only offer Trump detractors a brief escape from the grim reality at hand.