Love – Lana Del Rey

My obsession with Lana Del Rey is absolutely nothing new. I heard, “Born to Die,” right after it was released in 2011. I immediately bought her album and never looked back.

The sultry siren picked up a lot of soundtrack gigs shortly after, being featured on Maleficent, The Great Gatsby, and more.

I fell off the Lana bandwagon sometime in 2013. I thought I’d heard all I could from her, and her voice just wasn’t inspiring me like it used to. (Definitely a “it’s not you, it’s me” situation).

Fast-forward to 2017. I decided to give Ultraviolence and Honeymoon a shot, and it was the best decision I’ve made this year.

Shortly after reabsorbing her into my playlists, “Love” showed up.

At first I wasn’t really sure what to do with this song. It seemed a little too sweet on the surface to me. But, as is with any Lana song, it has an underlying melancholy, foolishness, and hope.

With a slow-chugging base chord, and gun-effect, it harkens back to the 60s with images of Lana with flowers in her hair.

Pickup trucks and young hipsters floating through space fill the screen at the halfway point, and suddenly Lana is performing on the moon.

Perhaps the best part, though, is echoey bridge of, “Don’t worry, baby.”

Ultimately, the video and song have an air of naivety, and while you get the distinct feeling that this happiness will be quashed, it’s still a beautiful and dreamy listen.

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Sippy Cup – Melanie Martinez

Roller derby has a funny way of introducing you to people that are way, way cooler than you’ll ever be.

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While the derbyverse prides itself on being a diverse group, I’ve realized that a lot of players are tastemakers – influencers – and just generally “in,” on everything that’s smart.

In the case of this song by Melanie Martinez, I found it via the Facebook of another derby athlete who’s a baller. Homegirl puts me to shame on the track.

…And also when it comes to music taste.

“Sippy Cup” by Melanie Martinez showcases both her entrancing vocal style, as well as a storyteller heart, with brutal lyrics.

Martinez has a funny ability to permeate music and tv without you knowing it; she wrote the theme song for AHS: Freakshow – “Carnival.”

Her quirky style fits flawlessly with the quizzical turns that the show takes, and it’s obvious that she was a solid choice for a featured artist.

Matrinez was also a finalist in The Voice, which I found surprising for such a genuine artist.  (Given that singing reality shows feature cookie-cutter artists that slip back into obscurity after a few releases.)

I feel like Martinez has the sass and know-how to avoid that fate, though. The girl wrote her whole album, conceived the character Cry Baby (modeled after the insult she’d received her whole life) and had a 19 year-old friend create all of the artwork for it.

When you look further into her aesthetic, Martinez truly has evolved, even since her tenure on The Voice.

With babydoll outfits complete with giant hair bows, Martinez fits the Blue Velvet intro, as Billboard pointed out. She’s sickly-sweet on the surface, but if you lift the tablecloth, you’ll find gore and guts underneath.

She’s got an air of Lana Del Ray, but surprisingly, with more theatrics. (And less label tampering.)

Whether Martinez’ character Baby Doll can stand the test of time (and growing up) is yet to be seen, but regardless of what direction she takes, this artist will be fun to watch grow. Let yourself become engrossed in her YouTube videos and palatable cooing now, while you’re still considered an early adopter.

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Whiney-Time Sounds

Sometimes I’m a sad kid.

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No, not quite like that.

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There. That’s better.

ANYWAY…

These are my favorite sad-time tunes. The ones that I ugly-cry to, and the ones that I get all angry and self-righteous listening to. They range from bratty teen anthems to songs that I’m proud to listen to.

Don’t judge. You have a sad-time playlist too. You just aren’t brave enough to publish it.

1. Jesus Christ – Brand New
Whiney-Time Lyrics: Do you believe you’re missin’ out? That everything good is happening somewhere else? But with nobody in your bed, the night’s hard to get through.

2. They’re Not Horses, They’re Unicorns – Bayside
Whiney-Time Lyrics: You’re pulling at your teeth and I’m the Novocain you pump in your cheeks. Thats why I’m still around, you’ve got blood running down your chin.
But you suffered peacefully. She was a termite eating away at my roots. I was just a lost soul who needed a home. I was filling a void with you. And I, I can’t, can’t wait until you’ve see see seen what depth and disgust has done to me.  And I spent three years wishing for two things: that one day you’d break, and I’d get to see how all the choices you made would drive you insane. I wish we never met.

3. Ghost Town – First Aid Kit
Whiney-Time Lyrics: I swear I can be better. I could be more to you. But there are things that lie in my path, that I just have to do.

4. I Can Feel Your Pain – Manchester Orchestra
Whiney-Time Lyrics: Cause I can feel your pain, in my bones, in my bones. I was scared to call your mother for news that you weren’t getting better. Well my God, what the hell am I supposed to do?

5. Don’t Wanna Be Your Girl – Wet
Whiney-Time Lyrics: I don’t wanna be your girl no more, no more. I just wanna see your face at home…I’m not living right so I decide that: I don’t wanna be your girl no more.

6. Playing God – Paramore
Whiney-Time Lyrics: If God’s the game that you’re playing, well we must get more acquainted. Because it has to be so lonely to be the only one who’s holy.

7. My Special Moment – The Vandals
Whiney-Time Lyrics: This is my special moment. Don’t question me or disagree. I know that I have earned this. Dammit I deserve this, do not fuck with me. It’s my special time.

8. Far Behind – Social Distortion
Whiney-Time Lyrics: With friends like you, who needs enemies? You ain’t right, you ain’t never gonna be…You shake my hand, while you’re pissing on my leg. I’m cutting you loose, I don’t need this misery.

9. Born to Die – Lana Del Rey
Whiney-Time Lyrics: Don’t make me sad, don’t make me cry. Sometimes love is not enough and the road gets tough; I don’t know why.

10. Cath… – Death Cab for Cutie
Whiney-Time Lyrics: And soon everybody will ask what became of you: ’cause your heart was dying fast, and you didn’t know what to do…The whispers that it won’t last roll up and down the pews. But if their hearts were dying that fast, they’d have done the same as you. And I’d have done the same as you.

11. Ache With Me – Against Me!
Whiney-Time Lyrics: Your voice echoes in the back of my mind. I see your face when I close my eyes. Do you share the same sense of defeat? Have you realized all the things you’ll never be? Ideals turn to resentment, open minds close up with cynicism. I’ve got no judgement for you – come on and ache with me.

12. Paper Bag – Fiona Apple
Whiney-Time Lyrics: Hunger hurts, and I want him so bad, oh it kills. ‘Cause I know I’m a mess he don’t wanna clean up. I got to fold ’cause these hands are too shaky to hold. Hunger hurts, but starving works, when it costs too much to love.

13. Singled Out – New Found Glory
Whiney-Time Lyrics: I figured all the years we shared were proof enough to extend my hand and help you. I know that getting started can be rough. Enthused smile, you seemed grateful – I felt good about myself. That’s until the day you showed me you don’t need anybody else. Why’d you have to go and make me say these things about you? Why’d you have to turn around? After all that we’ve been through…