This Album Changed My Life: Regina Spektor – Begin to Hope (2006)
Dublin pop singer-songwriter Orla Gartland on her first real album
Orla Gartland: “Before I sunk my teeth into this album the pop music I knew was devoid of much depth or character.”
I was 11 years old when this album came out. My prior experience of albums had been limited to various volumes of Now That’s What I Called Music!, so diving into a body of work by one artist was a new experience that blew my tiny mind.
I have always loved pop, and this has massively informed my own songwriting over the years. I also value great lyrics; I love to hear the personality of the artist in every line.
Summer In The City – Regina Spektor
Suddenly, here was an artist who made music that was catchy and accessible but also rammed full of heart, dripping with authenticity and charm. Summer in the City has always been one of my favourite tracks on the album; like Fidelity and Samson it delivers poignant, gut-wrenching emotion with simple language – “I’m so lonely lonely lonely, so I went to a protest just to rub up against strangers”.
Before I sunk my teeth into this album the pop music I knew was devoid of much depth or character, and I convinced myself that those two worlds could not co-exist. In my head, great lyrics were for singer songwriters, great melodies and production for pop artists. This album shattered that school of thought instantly.