Perpetual Summer Cruelty


Lily Allen’s “LDN” is an absolutely bliss-inducing calypso-ska number that’s every bit as sunny and shimmering as the Kinks’ “Sunny Afternoon” and Bananarama’s “Cruel Summer”—and like those two songs, “LDN” uses its words to tear down the bright picture its music creates. Reminds me of another Bananarama song, “Robert De Niro’s Waiting,” the one that goes, “A walk in the park can become a bad dream”; also reminds me of the Antonioni movie Blow-Up, in which David Hemmings’s walk in the park reveals, upon further examination, violent truths. In “LDN” Lily sings, “When you look with your eyes/Everything seems nice/But if you look twice/You can see it’s all lies.” That is, when you look with your mind. I’ll say no more but let you discover the song’s secrets for yourself.

Lily streams “LDN” on her MySpace page (—getting thousands of plays a day, and the MP3 is floating all over the Web and airing on BBC Radio 1, despite the single (7-inch vinyl!) only now getting released. Her blog posts are a positive kick; when she’s feeling desperate and boyfriendless she’ll make a meal: “Lamb meatballs (freshly made from scratch) with hummus, grilled halloumi, tomato avocado and spinach salad, oh and grated cucumber with yoghurt, well posh i know, a sort of meze plate for one.” However, she used to request, “if you are a goth, don’t add me please”; maybe this is because she knows that her bright music is darker than the goths’ darkness.