"The Blackest Day" is a song written by Lana Del Rey and Rick Nowels that is featured as the eleventh track on Del Rey's third major-label full-length album Honeymoon, which was officially released worldwide on September 18, 2015.
The song is a ballad influenced by jazz, rock and trap genres with references to American jazz singer Billie Holiday, electric guitars and rolling snares from a drum machine. The verses are stripped back, featuring guitar playing over a bass synth as drums slowly build towards a more heavily produced chorus. The chorus includes layered background vocals to add to the instrumentation as well as synth strings and a harp. After the final chorus, the song crescendos into an outro that ends with Del Rey repeating "I'm on my own again". The bridge of the song subtly samples the melody of "I Will Follow Him" by Peggy March.
Lyrically, the song is about the heartbreak of a lover leaving. The track runs at 6 minutes and 5 seconds, making it the longest track on Honeymoon, with approximately 108 beats per minute in the key of F♯ minor.
Critical reception Edit
Chelsea Smile of PopMatters called "The Blackest Day" the most powerful song on the record, saying that it "recounts the excruciating break up of a relationship, and the tone to Del Rey’s voice is so emotive, it’s as if she’s nearly crying at points."
- Del Rey sings about her "[blue] nail polish" in "1949", "Off to the Races" and alludes to it in "Your Girl".
- "Wind in my hair" is a lyric in "National Anthem" and "Burning Desire".
- Reference to "Put the Radio On".
- The lyrics "I need your love" can also be found in the first demo of "Maha Maha".
- The central theme, missing a lover, also appears in "Blue Jeans".
Official versions Edit
- Album version – 6:05
- Instrumental version – 6:08
- Written by Lana Del Rey and Rick Nowels.
- Vocals by Lana Del Rey.
- Produced by Lana Del Rey, Rick Nowels, & Kieron Menzies.
- Engineered by by Kieron Menzies, Trevor Yasuda & Chris Garcia.
- Recorded & mixed by Kieron Menzies.
- Organ & pads by Rick Nowels.
- Drums, bass, synth, & samples by Kieron Menzies.
- Strings by Patrick Warren.
- Additional effects by Trevor Yasuda.
- Electric guitar by David Levita.
- Mastered by Adam Ayan at Gateway Mastering, Portland, Maine.