For a while, my twitter username was Fuerteventura; such is the title of Russian Red’s second album.
It’s only right to start with Lourdes Hernández as the first musician I write about in Tuesday Museday!
This is not a review/critique per se, it’s rather a space where I can explain what’s so magnificent, amusing and unique about the music I love. I advise that you don’t read the lyrics without listening to each linked song first or while listening!
I first knew of Russian Red from the film erotica Room in Rome. Well, that’s when she first grabbed me into the worlds she creates. Her voice, the lyrics and her guitar fit perfectly in that film as she sang ” loving strangers, loving strangers, loving strangers oooh… It is just the start of the winter, and I’m all alone, but i i i’ve got my eye right on you… ” one of the things I noticed in her songs that was so exceptional and for some reason i LOVED is that she almost never sings clearly, for parts of her songs I can’t sing along, no matter how many times I’ve listened to those songs, and I have to go and check the lyrics just to understand what she’s singing! It’s of the imperfections that makes her songs so perfect..
But what’s really reeeally wonderful and puzzling is how in a lot of her songs her voice miraculously couples with the music in a way that can either make me happy or sad depending on my mood. As if her songs can fit right in whatever how I feel when I listen to them, which always, always brings a sweet joy to my heart. Take a song like Cigarettes, this song is an unsolved mystery for me.. It makes me very nostalgic for times and things that I can’t even remember or know but a small part of that nostalgia is now to the time when I put that whole album on repeat or something, but Russian Red’s songs were the most played on my computer since I once had it; that was the last winter in Jeddah before I “moved” to the US. And it’s so sad: “and all the cigarettes that I have never smoked, And all the letters that I have never sent, da da…“, yet the music and all her “da da ta da” make me so happy!
Russian Red is crazy in her expressions, just crazy! Listen to her singing “walls are tired, of holding the same old ceilings. And words have found their way to stay in and they don’t let out feelings…. Cups are tired, of being filled with the same coffee, and the floor can’t stand that people stepping on won’t even say sorry.“
In the few days before I went to Azkaban (i think even the night I ODed) i was listening to her singing: “You said, you had faith in God above, But it seemed that you didn’t believe; In reality, in people on earth. In people to whom you’ve given birth… You said you’d go for a walk, But that was three weeks ago and now, You spend your time counting the pages, Of a second hand bible pocket edition that you have.” At the time I was having an identity crisis and that song was like a verse from a holy scripture that Muse had given Lourdes to sing… (The irony)
The summer came, and I remember when I went hurriedly to the dorms mailroom (the same BU dorms I ODed in!) to pick up her second album, Fuerteventura. “The sun fills the kitchen in my house, it’s warm and cozy and it helps me breathe and I wonder if you’re making people laugh, ’cause you’re funny…. The sun the trees, the moon the sea, the clouds above hang over me” I vividly remember when I used to play that album on the plane to Virginia to see my little Saint Serene… Or everyday before school.
Ah, I hate you but I love you! I can go on and on about each and every one of her songs from the first two albums.. But then she released her third album, she has changed a lot, replaced her acoustic guitar with an electric one, I have yet to accustomize to such change. But just tonight I have realized how great Michael P is! (At least the song…), “This is a pillow I stole from the North Beach hotel, then took a fast train in the morning to hide my regrets… Lonely lonely lonely lonely lone, I get so lonely lonely lonely when you’re gone… Memories seem to reveal a pretty big loss, as my head is laying down on the pillow I wonder why I stole”,
would I steal a hotel pillow that still has your scent in it?
All rights are reserved to their respective owners. PLEASE support this wonderful artist by buying her albums or listen to her songs through spotify. Russian Red’s Profile.