"The Blackest Day" (also registered as "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.
Background and composition
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.
The first demo of the song produced by STINT was leaked on October 14, 2020. It features a different instrumental. A second demo is rumored to exist.
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.
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."
"The Blackest Day" has never been performed live in its entirety. On August 10, 2018, in Budapest, Hungary, Del Rey performed a snippet of the song a cappella per audience request during the LA to the Moon Tour.
- A radio is also mentioned in "Roll with Me (On the Radio)", "Terrence Loves You", "Tomorrow Never Came" and the song of the same name.
- Del Rey remarks "Oh, my God" in "Heroin", "Paradise", "Summertime Sadness" and "When the World Was at War We Kept Dancing".
- Del Rey sings about her "[blue] nail polish" in "Off to the Races" and "1949", while alluding to it in "Your Girl".
- The theme of missing a lover is also mentioned in "Blue Jeans".
- The lyric "carry me" is also mentioned in "Out with a Bang", "Your Girl" and "1949".
- The lyric "I need your love" is also mentioned in the first demo of "Maha Maha".
- The lyric "Wind in my hair" is also mentioned in "Burning Desire" and "National Anthem".
- Album version — 6:05
- Instrumental version — 6:08
- Demo version — 6:19
- Lana Del Rey — vocals, songwriting, production
- Rick Nowels — songwriting, production, organ, pads
- Kieron Menzies — production, engineering, recording, mixing, drums, bass, synth, samples
- Trevor Yasuda & Chris Garcia — engineering
- Patrick Warren — strings
- Trevor Yasuda — additional effects
- David Levita — electric guitar
- Adam Ayan — mastering
- Mastered at Gateway Mastering, Portland, Maine