In my head, I feel like Ultraviolence and Honeymoon are kind of two halves of a whole experience.
while she said Ultraviolence doesn’t have a specific narrative or through-line, the themes are consistent. It’s an album dripping with depression, heartbreak, drugs, and passion. There are some brighter moments (Brooklyn Baby and West Coast aren’t necessarily dark and broody) but those are just kind of cute songs. As a whole, this album is very dark and moody. It feels like a highlight reel of some of the worst moments in her life: estrangement and breakup with Barrie, abusive relationship in New York, looking back at failed relationships, her bad experiences in the industry, and a dependency on drugs and alcohol throughout.
So if we take Ultraviolence as descending to her emotional rock bottom, I look at its follow up Honeymoon as her just kind of dwelling in that rock bottom, if that makes sense. I’m not gonna say she starts to look upward, cause tbh she doesn’t until Lust for Life (which is the whole point of that album). But the protagonist of Honeymoon is definitely a woman who is at her lowest.
If Ultraviolence was a summation of her trauma and her sorrow, Honeymoon is her self-medication in their wake. Honeymoon carries similar themes to UV, but presents them almost in the past tense. She’s no longer singing about losing her baby, she’s singing about how she’s living since she’s lost him. He’s already gone. Now, she’s just fantasizing of a honeymoon she’ll never go on, listening to music and daydreaming while she people watches. She just wants to run away from her problems and get high by the beach. She has a new romantic interest, who she just wants to run away with, but the depression is still hovering over her. Despite the temporary highs she describes (drugs, sex, partying), she still feels like she doesn’t matter to anyone, she’s unlovable, and that she has nothing left to live for.
so yes that’s my ramble on thematic/narrative connection between Ultraviolence and Honeymoon.