As I’m writing this right now, Lorde is conquering all the radio and music charts. Perhaps you heard of her and her hit single Royals? It’s only the number one song on the Billboard alternative charts, of which Lorde is the first female to top since 1996. (Amazing fact – the sixteen year old Lorde was born that same year). So how did this all happen? How did a young teenager from New Zealand named Ella Yelich-O’Conner became the world-conqueror that she is today?
We, of course, start with the song. Royals, is an undeniably excellent, excellent song. With its ultra catchy trip-hop beats and easy finger snaps, Royals is emminently infectious. The simple chord structure belies its brilliant hooks, giving it immediate recognition. But beyond the beats, Royals is great because of its its underdog tones and how the listener can relate to it. The lyrics speak very much to how every teenager (in age and spirit) feel with its us-against-the-world theme. Just like Macklemore did with Thrift Shop, Lorde made hustling chic. And that speaks to the heart of every person who has or am experiencing struggled through the current economic climate.
And then there is Lorde herself. Proving that you don’t have to shock value to grab attention, Lorde carries with her the paradox of having a mysterious aura, yet still being highly relatable. She’s like Lana Del Rey in that she has an old soul vibe but she’s also an approachable teen. She’s like Taylor Swift because she speaks to young girls, but she’s also someone you could imagine to be your friend. She’s the pop star for this new age – a perfect fit because she doesn’t fit into any preconceptions.
Lorde‘s debut record Pure Heroine expands upon the brilliance of Royals and spreads it across a whole album. All the songs in the record follow upon the blueprint of Royals, with Lorde singing over minimal beats. But they are all immediately catchy and the few ballads sprinkled in have an elegant beauty to them. There are several excellent songs in the record and I would argue that Team is just as good if not better than Royals. Not being a teenaged girl, I may not be the primary audience of Lorde, but I did enjoy the record a whole lot and I suspect a lot of non-teenaged girls will too. That speaks well to Pure Heroine. Go on with your world-conquering Lorde, I support you.
Watch the video for her other great single Tennis Court embedded below.
Lorde – Pure Heroine comes out 9/30 via Universal/Republic (order here)