Nothing hurts better than a bittersweet song. Well, maybe a couple of other things do, but that’s neither here nor there. Lorelei Marcell’s song “Nothing Hurts Better” is about pain, difficulty, and struggle… but it’s the best kind, it’s about all the vicissitudes we must go through when we’re facing the unknown in search of a concrete goal that’s in our minds.
I interviewed Lorelei Marcell In these very same hallowed pages, a year and one month ago, precisely, and If you check that interview out you can tell just how impressed I was with the then-17-year-old Boston Songstress who had just moved to Los Angeles to pursue her career in full, and although It was mostly just that, an interview- I made sure to get the point across as best as I could that she was a seriously talented and well-polished musician worth everyone’s time and attention.
The younger you are the more you can condense in a single year in terms of personal growth and learning, how much has she changed since then if she already felt so… complete as a musician? Well, in short: I was blown away a second time. When she first arrived in L.A., Lorelei felt like many aspiring actors and musicians feel, that stark realization that you’re not the only one with ambition and talent, and that the big city that can make you a big star can just as easily swallow you whole. Though I can just as easily be taken for a song about a messy relationship, the truth is that with “Nothing Hurts Better” we get a glimpse of Lorelei’s separation anxiety from her home, friends, and family, at points the melody even feels a bit claustrophobic or like it’s trying to create a sense of urgency, a bottling up of emotions that threaten to burst as the song builds up to a very subtle crescendo…
But the explosion never arrives. In a subversive fashion, Lorelei chooses to forgo all melodrama and go almost the opposite direction that the crescendo near the hook suggests -or at least what I personally expected- Instead, she resolves the tension she builds throughout the track by packing the “space at the back” of the song with some truly epic synths that echoes what you would expect instead out of a film score, sung with a melody that transmits this feeling of intense determination. In fact, I think that the lyrics spell this feeling out perfectly when you pay attention: “Nothing feels the same way anymore, Is this it, have we learned? Never gonna stop this back and forth, Nothing hurts better – Loving you like that”
This is what I liked best about this song because I feel that she’s gotten really good at communicating in other more subtle vernacular by using melody in a clever way.
For artists like her, it’s too easy and too tempting to just rely on the power and charisma of their voice and try to “brute force” sentimentality into a song via their vocal capabilities -hitting impressive notes and whatnot- Instead, Lorelei chose to be more creative by making something that is much more interesting and far more impactful in the long run.
Story: Samuel Aponte Photos: Shari Hoffman
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