I know I’m kinda late already on this latest band discovery of mine. But I just discovered the music of New Zealand-based teen singer Lorde. If you’re not familiar with her yet, Lorde is sixteen (!) year old teen Ella Yelich-O’Conner, who despite her age, possesses a preternaturally mature and retro voice. Lorde joins the growing conflux of female indie-pop singers such as Charli XCX, Grimes, and Sky Ferreira, who have created this brand of aesthetically dark yet still mass-appealing flavor of pop songs.
The biggest difference is that Lorde seemingly has breached the mainstream in a big way unlike her just-as-talented peers. Despite having only recently released two EPs to her name (The Love Club and Tennis Court), she already has produced a mega-hit song in Royals. A certified number one song in her native New Zealand, Royals is also rapidly climbing mainstream alt-radio charts in both the US and the UK.
It is easy to see why Royals is such a hit. Using an inherently catchy chord structure over trip-hop beats, Royals has an underdog lyrical undertone (“we’ll never be royals“) that teen girls can easily relate to. At the same time, the dark driving pulse of the song masks Lorde’s youth, so much so, that if you didn’t know she was 16, you wouldn’t even have thought twice about the age of the singer.
In other words, Lorde already possesses all the elements that should make her an instant success. She is the anti-Taylor Swift. She is the younger Adele. She is the more relatable Lana Del Rey (listen to her cover of The Replacement’s Swingin’ Party, and tell me that’s not Lana herself singing). Big things are happening already for Lorde, and I’m definitely going to enjoy watching her rise to success.
Listen to Royals below.