While this blog is primarily about books, I have ventured out into TV-land and given you my opinion on some of the series or movies I’ve been watching. I have another passion, however, which has yet to get out in the spotlight. Most of the time, when I’m reading, I’m also listening to music and prior to moving in with my boyfriend, I spent most of my time on my room and I was playing cd’s from dusk till dawn. Suffice to say that I am quite passionate about music and with this little fortnightly segment, I’ll share some of that passion with you.
While I like a big range of artists, bands and acts, I have a preference for female voices and my favourite artists are female solo singers. Throughout Musical Mondays, I’ll share these amazing women with you in good time. This week, I’ll give you my current – and longstanding – obsession, the first in a line of sirens who make me sway with their voice.
Despite me being a big fan of Lana Del Rey, I have to admit to missing her big breakthrough. The thing is, in my teens I was a huge radio listener, but when growing up I developed my own particular taste in music and more often than not, I was annoyed at what they were playing on the radio, let alone the ads and the pointless banter. So cue my twenties, and I primarily listened to records – to this day still, and I’m grateful for it if it means completely missing the rise and fame of artists like Niki Minaj, Ariana Grande and the likes. Because of it, I completely missed Video Games being played to death on the radio. It wasn’t until I walked past the television one evening when my family was watching The Voice, and during the battles a man and a woman were singing Video Games. I went in search of the original song on YouTube and soon before long I was swaying on Lana’s voice. Songs like Blue Jeans and Born To Die only made me sway even harder.
By this point, I liked those songs, but it pretty much stayed there. Lana had yet to cement herself into my heart and it wasn’t until Paradise came along that I truly fell for her. While I was taking a break from studying for my exams one afternoon, I went on YouTube and the music video for Ride was one of the recommendations. I clicked on the video and then it all suddenly made sense to me. I was lost in that song and couldn’t stop playing it, no matter how hard I tried. I woke up and went to sleep with Ride and when the Paradise Edition of the Born To Die record came along, songs like Bel Air and American pushed me even further than I had already fallen and I started listening to Lana non-stop. Songs like Off To The Races and National Anthem, that I originally disliked were stuck in my head for good, and while my sister was going to piano class, I YouTubed people playing Bel Air and Video Games on the piano and played them myself.
That Summer, three weeks after finishing my exams, we went all the way to the west coast of America for a roadtrip. My boyfriend and I went along with a friend of ours and her parents, and she said to make some USA Mixtapes – meaning only songs that have a link to the USA could be featured on those tapes, like Born in the USA and Party in the USA. I was in charge of making the tapes since I had the biggest record collection, and I took my chance to feature Lana throughout all five tapes, cause if the Born To Die album isn’t about the American Dream and all things America, then I don’t know what is. It was a bit later than the rest of the world, but that was the Summer I fell in love with Lana Del Rey.
The Summer after that one saw the release of the Ultraviolence album – with the swayingly good West Coast as lead single – and I couldn’t be happier with the album, despite it being a sad record. Gone were songs like Million Dollar Man and Lolita that I couldn’t be bothered with and I got more of what I loved about Lana, the sad and brooding songs that could go on for forever, like Cruel World and Old Money. Shortly after its release, I was due to work some weeks in my boyfriend’s bookshop – where they also sell some albums – and whenever I was working, I popped in the album and sang along. After a few days though, his mother switched the album out for something a bit more cheerful cause she was getting depressed from listening to it. Oh well.. I listened to a lot of unreleased tracks as well, and I’m glad she is sticking with her current style on her albums, cause while there are a lot of gems, a lot of the unreleased material has this R&B/Hip-hop vibe that featured on the lesser songs of her debut. I’d rather have my Lana like she is on The Blackest Day and Swan Song.
To this day, I have yet to see her live and the day she comes to Belgium in an intimate venue – not TW Classic – I would put down some good money to be there. Unlike other artists, where I have periods where I only listen to them and then a long time nothing, I am always listening to Lana. When I’m on the train and on my bike to and from work, I like nothing more than her soothing voice guiding me into the workday or back home. My boyfriend does not like her at all, but I’ll compensate by being completely and utterly in love. Just don’t tell him..
Favourite songs are too much to tell, but the ones mentioned are worth checking out if you haven’t heard them yet.