There is nothing the music industry and its audience love more than a singer who goes by a single name. Cher! Madonna! Prince! German singer Lary fits into that category but she does it on her own terms, just likes those other veritable one name juggernauts. Labeling Lary a “popstar” seems accurate but probably gives the wrong impression. This is not your run-of-the-mill bubblegum pop music. Lary is dark and sultry, strong and gritty. Are you intrigued yet to find out and hear more? This month, let’s practice German with the music of pop R&B singer Lary.
You know her best by her performance name of Lary. But she is also known as Lary Poppins or sometimes as Lary Lou. But Lary was born Larissa Sirah Herden in Gelsenkirchen on June 20, 1986. She’s the daughter of a British father of Jamaican descent and a German mother. She grew up in Gelsenkirchen before studying media and cultural studies at a university in Düsseldorf. From there, she moved to New York City. There she made ends meet by doing things like modeling and singing on the street and in bars. But eventually, she made her way back to Germany. Today she resides in Berlin.
In 2014, Lary released her debut album, FutureDeutscheWelle. The album’s R&B-style instrumentation with its heavy electronics reminds of Portishead. Alluring and a little dark at times, the album delivers on its promise of a futuristic sound. The album best tracks are perhaps “Sturm und Drang,” and the single “Kryptonit,” which is the album’s most straightforward pop-sounding single. Futuredeutschewelle is a slower burner that’s in no rush and sets its own pace.
Four years later, came Lary’s follow-up album. Hart fragil is a stronger and more mature album. She seems more in control of her vocals and album’s direction. The album’s title Hart fragil, or Hard fragile, is the perfect description for her R&B sound that is largely ballads and slower tempo tracks. The album’s singles include the lead off track “Das neue Schwarz,” a delicate song that plays with building tension and drama, and “Mond,” with its ’80s throwback influences is about as close as the album gets to upbeat.
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Photo by Maximilian Semlinger, courtesy Der Bomber der Herzen. This post contains affiliate links.