Formed back in 2018, Pop Noir outfit from Wales, The Nightmares share a musical passion for the likes of The Cure and Placebo. The quartet has just released their Séance album on Venn Records, very much influenced by the art of seances themselves – the album resulting from long pandemic nights of writing music and experimenting with seances.
So, with recurring themes of death, love and mourning in mind, The Nightmares’ singer, Eleanor Coburn joins us At The Barrier to tell us why she’s a big fan of American singer/songwriter, Lana Del Ray.
When I first heard Lana Del Rey I was nineteen, freshly out of my first serious relationship, in my first year at university and enjoying my independence. I would love to drive around alone and aimlessly, and it was on one of those drives when I first heard Video Games on the radio.
From then on, I was the biggest fan and would listen to her album Born To Die repeatedly. The romantic nature of the lyrics which included love, heartbreak and what it means to be a women deeply resonated with me. And it just so happened to coincide with that crucial part of my life where I was finding out exactly who I am.
Subsequently, that album became the soundtrack to that part of my life, as did every record that followed. Her music almost felt like it was written just for me, so it was never a case of loving or hating a record… it was just right. Always right.
I guess in some ways it could be likened to a cult leader publishing a manifesto for her followers. I am a follower, worshipping at the altar of Lana.
The first show of Lana’s I went to was in 2013 at the 02 Academy, Birmingham, on the Paradise tour. In my white sundress and heels, a flower crown so precisely placed on my head, I joined the thousands of other girls (all in similar uniforms) ready to adore her. The stage was dressed majestically, with gold candelabras and palm plants donning the set. The live band was comprised of the standard guitar, bass, keys and drums set up, but it was the string quartet that really brought the grandiosity.
The string arrangements that feature in Lana’s song-writing really bled into the writing of my own synthesiser parts on our debut album, Séance” I, being a classically trained pianist, could not help but draw from the traditional instrumentation contrasting with the modern sense of pop structure and melody. I feel this really comes across in the haunting arrangement of our single, From Above.
Having always been a fan of vintage style and fashion – taking a lot of influence from the likes of Dita Von Teese – the way Lana presented herself with an old-school, Hollywood glamour look, with a twist of modernity, encouraged my own style, clothes, makeup and hairstyle, greatly.
The elegance in which she presents herself is something that I always aim to achieve. In her song Black Beauty, she sings, “I paint my nails black; I dye my hair a darker shade of brown,” and being a self-confessed teenage emo, these lyrics seemed to affirm just who I am.
The woman is an icon and if you have never listened to any of her work, I suggest you start at “Born to die” and never stop.
Our thanks to Eleanor for taking the time to share her passion and fashion.
The Nightmares photo by Jon Wilson.
Here’s Heartless from the Séance album:
You can read more from our extensive archive of Why I Love pieces from a wide array of artists on an even wider array of subjects, here.