"Sorrowland" is the third full length studio album by Melanie Martinez. It was released by Atlantic Records on October 21st, 2022 mainly through digital download, CD, cassette and vinyl. The album debuted at #4 on the Billboard 200 album chart with 49,000 total copies sold in it is first week.
Melanie began working on the album's plot and tracks in 2020 and finished it in mid 2021. The album also features guest appearances of Nicole Dollanganger, Lana Del Rey, Elita and Grimes.
Melanie embarked on the Sorrowland Tour in the beginning of February of 2023 in support of the album. The Sorrowland Tour Part Two began in May of 2023 and ended in July of 2023. The third leg, titled the Sorrowland Fall Tour, began in September of 2023 and ended in October of 2023.
Background and Development
Melanie started thinking about the album's concept in mid-2019 after releasing her second studio album, K-12 and the following year when her fourth extended play (EP) After School was about to be released soon, she also began writing some songs for this album too and reflect about the film visuals being inspired by the surrealist arts of Mark Ryden, Roby Dwi Antono, Marion Peck and Stephen Mackey. In the same year she wrote the full script for the film and the following year she started working on the album that would accompany it.
According to Melanie the process of the recording was very hard due to she would still need to write and record many songs besides that many of them could end up not entering the album, that according to her had a very specific theme. Melanie said she received a lot of support from her label in relation to the budget of the film but ended up decided that this film would have more dialogues than songs, because according to herself, she wanted everything in the film to be well explained but still leaving loose ends for her next films.
Melanie also revealed in a interview that album's aesthetic was inspired by another album with the same name by rapper Kogz, that let Melanie use the same aesthetic on her album. Melanie said that the album's theme was inspired by a lot of things such as the Norse mythology, books, nursery rhymes, fairy tales, films and other things.
Melanie worked again with some people on this album who had worked with her on the production of her debut studio album, Cry Baby, but also she hasn't stopped working with new people either. Melanie wanted to bring a more experimental musical genre to this album, having the opportunity to work with Canadian singer Grimes on the tracks Bee-Having and Sorrowland also sharing vocals with Melanie in Saccharose Fluids. The two ended up becoming friends which led Grimes to help Melanie in the production of the film as well in which she makes a cameo by being the person who voices the character Cricket Chick.
Through Grimes, Melanie ended up meeting the also Canadian singer Nicole Dollanganger who worked together on the track Berserk The Clown and sharing vocals with Melanie in Porcelain Bodies which led her to play the character Molly in the feature film.
The American singer Lana Del Rey also worked with her on the track Summertime Embodiment and also sharing vocals with Melanie in Itsy Bitchy Spider. The two met after the song Summertime Embodiment originally by Lana Del Rey and recorded for their seventh studio album, Chemtrails Over The Country Club was scrapped and months later offered to Melanie who ended up with the song. The two then kept in touch and worked together on new tracks which also led Lana to play the character Miss Aracne in the film.
Melanie's close friend, Elita, who also plays the character Angelita both in the previous film K-12 and in this film, also appears in the track Mirror Mirror sharing vocals with Melanie.
Melanie later confirmed through her twitter account that the album was ready on July 18th, 2021 and that from there on she would focus on the preparations for the film recording that take place in October, November and December at the end totaling 31 days of recording just like the previous movie.
Film Shooting and Promotion
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the recordings of the film had to follow the security protocols against the virus, which ended up reducing the number of actors in the film and many of them being replaced by computer graphics. The film was recorded in different parts of the Gemenc forest located in the city of Szekszárd in Hungary. After being recorded, the film was edited and received the finishing touches in the beginning of 2022 and was completely finished in April.
On May 11th, 2022, a teaser trailer for the film was released, revealing that the official title of the film was "Sorrowland". She revealed the new layout of her website on the same day and a low-quality version of the album cover leaked through the site's source code. The next day, she officially unveiled the album cover on all social media platforms, revealing that the album is also titled "Sorrowland" and the tracklist.
On May 25th, 2022, a second teaser trailer for the film was released. A third teaser was released along with the album and film's release date on May 30th, 2020.
On June 3rd, 2022 the album's debut single Berserk The Clown was released just a few hours after it was announced on Melanie's social media accounts.
On June 18th, 2022, a preview featuring clips of the movie and a snippet of a new song, later revealed to be An Unwelcoming Land, was premiered at the MTV Movie Awards. Different from her previous album, Melanie stated that she would no promote the album with assignments this time instead of it she would release more singles on a special platform dedicated to the album entitled "The Sorrowland Radio" whose subscribers could listen to songs before they were officially released along with unreleased footage from the official music video and discounts on the purchase of the album when it would be released besides having also in the merchandise that would accompanying it.
Then, on June 8th, 2022 the album's second single Bee-Having was released a few days after debuted on "The Sorrowland Radio" platform.
On August 11th, 2022 the album's third single Porcelain Bodies featuring Nicole Dollanganger a few days after it debuted on "The Sorrowland Radio" platform.
On September 22nd, 2022 the album's fourth and final single Mirror Mirror featuring Elita was released a few days after debuted on "The Sorrowland Radio" platform.
On July 22th, 2022, the film's official trailer was released, along with the album tracklist and pre-order.
On October 21st, the album was officially released along with a deluxe edition and a target exclusive edition mainly through digital download, CD, cassette and vinyl. The feature film also premiered in the same date.
On August 25th, 2022 the album's themed perfume titled "The Lost Souls Fragrance" was released along with other merchandise as like a jewelry box, clothing parts, rings, and other things.
On November 10th, a book named "Shooting Stars: Faded Constellations" was announced to be released in February 8th along with a ambient extended play (EP) (which also would have the title track Sorrowland featured on it) both came available for pre-order. The book contains the background stories of the Shooting Stars former members.
The Sorrowland Tour was officially announced on November 23th, 2022. Fans who pre-ordered the book until December 4th gained early access to tickets. Melanie embarked in the beginning of February 2023 ended up in March 2023.
The second leg was officially announced on January 5th, 2022 which Melanie embarked in the beginning of May 2023 and ended in July 2023.
The third and final leg, titled the Sorrowland Fall Tour was officially announced on May 17th, 2023 which Melanie embarked in the beginning of September 2023 and ended in October 2023.
A special documentary titled "The Sorrowland Documentary" was announced on March 21st, 2022 and was released in a collaboration with YouTube Music on April 28th, 2023 in celebration of Melanie's 28th birthday. The documentary of almost half an hour, tells the whole process of creating the album and the film from 2020 to 2021, also having testimonials from people who worked on this project and several other things.
The album is set in a unsetting, mystical and limbo-like city called Sorrowland that Cry Baby, Ben and Angelita were sent by Lilith. Known as "the home of the forgotten", Lilith inform them that Sorrowland is the destination of those who have been totally forgotten by mortals before their deaths, and that Kelly would end up trapped there if not rescued in time. Then, Cry Baby and her friends enter the city, having the opportunity of not only changing their own lives, but also many others ones inside there.
Unlike Melanie's former albums, Sorrowland featured much more characters on screen. Some of them are characters who have debuted and been identified, but hold no significant or recurring roles, as seen that not every of them has a significant appearances on the recurring tracks.
Bold: Characters that was featured in the film, but in no track.
It is currently unknown how many songs were recorded for this album, but it is highly speculated that it would be around 40 or more.