Artist Watch: Melancholy Melodies of Lana Del Rey & Jessie Ware

Monday, October 10, 2011


Maybe it's me settling into 'quarter life crisis' with my wallet screaming, and little snow flurries of job ops (does anyone need a writer? I'll work for peanuts n' booze!), but in a funk is what I'm in. To ease it, lots of melancholy material has sort of drifted through my ear drums in the last couple of days (Mavis Staples, Janis Ian, and Nia Simone for starters). Just some real real raw down-in-the-dumps soul. For a more modern take, Lana Del Rey and Jessie Ware, two up-n-comers (don'tcha just love new voices?) are bringing the melancholia for a new set and in a different fashion.

It's sort of bizarre how NYC-London based artist, Lana Del Rey has a real 1950's sound and look with the immediacy to be heard as either a Nancy Sinatra or a Marianne Faithfull, but she's singing about "Video Games" and other 21st century first world problems of love. On first feel it's a quite feminine slant on what The Weeknd is accomplishing as it waltzes in it's sophisticated despair. "Video Games" really purrs. A fistful of Del Ray's other loose tracks have surfaced. I suggest the melodic "Diet Mntn Dew" and the violently cynical, "Kinda Outta Luck" which is a bit feistier, and teeters on the borderline of Adele territory. Del Rey has been an indie mystery (she's one of those You Tube sensations that made good blah dee blah blah) and is now emerging as a darling for. No word on an album at blog post, but she shouldn't have to worry about that as that's no doubt a definite.

Video Games






Though Jessie Ware is all smiles in this photo, once you hear the haunting  "Strangest Feeling", the South Londoner's debut single, there are a texture of moods residing within her. It's all due to her voice which alternates quite beautifully, as it's the stark contrast to the sharp, mechanical sound of a drum cadence. "Strangest Feeling" is a first impression worth remembering, as the track is excellent. Love at first note, when in recent weeks it's been sort of hard to sway me. Ms. Ware has already been one to look for as she has glazed her rich and sultry tone over the the works of acts like Sampha and SBTRKT, but now she's breaking out and sojourning on her own. "Strangest Feeling" is just the 'mood indigo' that one needs---just real excellent stuff.

The Strangest Feeling

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