Oh, Regina Spektor, my Jewish love.
On November 15th I headed to Royal Festival Hall at Southbank Centre to see Regina Spektor – more or less American singer who performed 2 concerts in London as a part of her Remember Us To Life tour. Why I said more or less? Because she has one hell of a background when it comes to nationality and cultural identity. Born in the Soviet Union in a Jewish family, she moved to the USA when she was 9 and stayed there ever since. This experience (if it is okay to call it so) found its way in her music and gladly so.
She began her career in 2001 when she started performing at New-York’s anti-folk cafes and released 2 self-published CDs during this period (11:11 and Songs). Her first labelled album Soviet Kitch was released in 2003 and was a huge success, being called “one of the greatest albums of the decade” by NME.
Honestly, I can talk about her and her music for hours to come, simply because she does the kind of art that once it comes to you, it never really leaves. What I love about her songs is that they are different in all the ways you can imagine. She sings and plays the piano, yes, but how she does it and what she sings about – that is the true gem I am talking about.
I don’t have a favourite song when it comes to her music, they are all too different to pick one. But I would like to highlight the Dance Anthem Of The 80’s from Far album. It is honestly one of the most revelating songs about nowadays society and its desperate loneliness. The instruments, the composition of the song, the lyrics, her voice – it is a true masterpiece, it awakens every emotion from some kind of despair to this light acceptance of the life as it is.
An addiction to hands and feet
There’s a meat market down the street
The boys and girls watch each other eat
When they really just wanna watch each other sleep
I think it is the truest representation of nowadays dating.
That is the thing with her – she is pure. Her voice is pure, her intentions are pure and she never makes music for the sake of making music, she makes it as a form of art for the sake of art. She comes onto the stage, smiles and the whole audience just melts because it is so obvious that she smiles not because she has to but because she wants to and isn’t it the most precious thing with nowadays performers?
The concert was amazing. She is one of those artists who come to the stage, sit behind the piano and just make music. No costumes, no fancy choreography, it is just you and her. The concert hall was really nice too – it was Royal Festival Hall, there was no crowds, no unnecessary fuss, everything was super chill and cosy.
It was a nice throwback to summer 2013 when she performed in Tallinn. This time she sang songs from her new album as well as older ones. She even made a tribute to Leonard Cohen with his song Chelsea Hotel. What can I say, it was all very sweet, very warm and sincere – you couldn’t expect any less from her, she is purely talented and I am happy to be alive and witness her work.
Here is the compilation of songs from the concert made by one of the fans:
It would be a very long post if I started to go deep into details of her art, so I am gonna leave you here to discover it yourself. Seriously, play one of her albums while on the road, trust me, it is different from everything you’ve heard before. You may like it, you may not, but the fact is that she is one of a kind and this is one of the cases that show that you don’t have to be Beyonce-big to be Beyonce-talented. Or maybe even talenteder. Yas, I said it.