Background and compositionEdit
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.
Two demos of the track are rumored to exist, but this is currently officially unconfirmed and none of them have leaked.
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."
Live performance Edit
"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.
- 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 line "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".
- Del Rey has a tattoo of Billie Holiday's first name on her chest.
- Del Rey remarks "oh my God" in "Heroin", "Summertime Sadness", "Paradise" and "When the World Was at War We Kept Dancing".
- The "carry me" theme also appears in "1949", "Out with a Bang" and "Your Girl".
Official versions Edit
- Album version — 6:05
- Instrumental version — 6:08
- 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