Blue Monday? More like Blue January… The cold weather makes a 6.30am start even bleaker. After a weekend of revlry, you’re reminded of the impending routine coming your way and as you lie there in bed, I wake up and reach for my morning playlist. I alter it every week and these tracks are some of the ones that are getting me through Blue January.
Lana Del Rey – ‘Hope Is A Dangerous Thing For A Woman Like Me To Have But I Have It’
Lana is one of my quintessential artists. Every track unloads a different energy and substance. It ‘s funny how artistically she’s gone from being the Blanche DuBois of pop to a post modern Mary Shelley. Her last release ‘Venice Bitch’ was a psychedelic pop number with an neverending narrative & ‘Hope…’ picks off in a different direction. It’s a lot more softer and reliant on her vocal & imagery created. It’s really interesting how a vocal performance can shape imagery for a song… Britney’s ‘Everytime’ is a great example of this. The track details a number of issues from Lana’s complexities with fame & the symbolism she uses from Sylvia Plath to her own darkness “get this black narcissist of my back”. It’s a mellow track for Lana but feels right at home alongside ‘Change’ or ‘Heroin’.
Kehlani – ‘Nights Like This (Feat. Ty Dolla Sign)’
Kehlani is one of those artists who I’m not really sure why she’s not a big name yet… I went to one of her London shows a few years ago based on my love of album track ‘Advice’ where she screams the harrowing “how is the man of my dreams not a man of his word?” Relate! ‘Nights Like This’ is a bisexual lament as Kehlani is trying to understand why her female lover has abandoned her for a male, especially as their romance seemed define. It has this atmospheric pop vibe to it but is an absolute bop.
Ashley Tisdale – ‘Love Me or Let Me Go’
The Tizz is back! After waiting nearly 10 years for more Ashley music. She has delivered. The production and delivery are tight but I find the “stop being so obsessed with me” lyric slightly corny but also imagine most of the men in my life directing that at me however after delivering one of the best pop debut album ‘Headstrong’ back in 2007, expectations for Ashley are always going to be high.
Hilary Duff – ‘If I Fall’
Hilary Duff. She’s the should-be-Kylie of the noughties in my opinion. Her third record ‘Dignity’ is a masterclass in how to exceed breaking the Disney mould well. It was ahead of it’s time in ‘07 and even now, some of the curves & imagery are forward thinking. The track ‘If I Fall’ is an outtake from her 2015 banger album ‘Breathe In. Breathe Out’ and details Hilary’s decision to step away from the industry & become a normal lass. It’s a strong record & feels very in vein with her 2004 hit ‘Fly’. The track can easily be used to reflect upon feelings of moving on from a situation you’re used to & starting over; a fear, an uncertainty but the right thing to do.
The 1975 – ‘I Like America & America Likes Me’
“I’m scared of dying”, Matt Healy utters in a highly edited vocoder before reeling us in with the slight political commentary ‘I Like America & America Likes Me’. The use of the heavy vocoder feels like a realisation of Matt’s heavy plea, similar to Kanye’s use on ‘808s & Heartbreak’, where the vocoder was used to symbolise heartbreak as he believed that was what heartbreak sounded like. The song is a dramatic commentary on the rise of gun violence in America and its harrowed in sadness as Matt pleas “would you please listen?”
Blue Monday can do one. I’d much rather be in a hot country sucking on a pina colada if I’m totally honest…or enjoying a Friday night in a dimly-lit, over-priced restaurant & lapping it up in the city with an attractive male, so fellas slide in my DMs.