Nico: the melancholically beautiful icon

“I’ve stopped my dreaming, I won’t do too much scheming these days…”

 

From Andy Warhol’s muse to rock icon, Nico has certainly left her mark in the rock genre. With her influential 1967 album, Chelsea Girl being many ‘60s music lovers’ favourite from the era. The album featured songs written by some of the greats – Bob Dylan, Lou Reed and Tim Hardin. 

 

Nico is well-known for featuring on The Velvet Underground’s debut album, her eerie yet soothing voice captivated listeners from around the world. John Cale described her as “like a rock. She didn’t move up there. It all came through the voice.”

 

My favourite song from Chelsea Girl is These Days. It is a hypnotic, poetic song that is equally soothing as it is unsettling. The melancholic lyrics like “please don’t confront me with my failures

I had not forgotten them,” matched with her breathy voice tranquilises the listener into an uneasy and introspective state. 

 

These Days was written by Jackson Browne, who was just a teenager at the time, and he plays the unique guitar parts of the song. 

 

This song is timeless. It was featured in Wes Anderson’s Royal Tenenbaums film, which brought a modern twist to the song. 

Nico lived a diverse life of success and failure. Learning about her life as a Berlin model in war-torn Germany, being a young mother at the age of 24 to a Parisian actor and an iconic face found in Warhol’s world in the 60s with taints of drug abuse and a young death at the age of 49. It makes her music come to life, and for the listener to understand her songs. 

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