Posted April 2, 2014
By EMELIA NUNN
New Zealand Singer/Songwriter Lorde entered the music scene in November 2012 when she released her EP “The Love Club.”
Soon after, her single “Royals” took the pop world by storm, eventually reaching the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2013.
At only 17 years old, Lorde is becoming a household name, and is gaining even more notoriety after being nominated for four Grammys this year, and winning two: Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance. Her album, “Pure Heroine (Extended)” has become my new favorite album this year, and has been on repeat in my car since it was released, on Dec.13.
Her first hit, “Royals,” is a simple and ethereal commentary on the obsession with wealth and royalty in modern society. Lorde used a simple beat and rhythm to move the song, letting her vocals do much of the heavy lifting.
Although there is a complex baseline, involving finger snaps and electronic play, she chose to lower the levels on these, creating a sweet and deep idea of how she views society. She is also able to mix high and low octaves easily, giving her voice an eerie sweetness, pulling the listener in further.
My current favorite track on the album is “Team,” although it was the song “Royals” that first got me excited about this artist. “Team” has become extremely popular after its radio release, which occurred shortly after the release of “Pure Heroine” standard edition in September. Once again, this song focuses on Lorde’s views concerning her generation, and society’s approach to said generation. She displays a talent for complex lyrics in this song, which places apart from many other singers/songwriters her age, who focus more on the sound of the words, then their meanings. My favorite lines from the song are:
“Now bring my boys in
Their skin in craters like the moon
The moon we love like a brother, while he glows through the room
Dancin’ around the lies we tell
Dancin’ around big eyes as well
Even the comatose they don’t dance and tell”
It is my hope that complex lyrics like these can influence the pop music industry, as it is clear that songs like this can become infectious.
I have fallen hard for just about every song on this album, but the gold medal has to go to “Glory and Gore.” Lorde’s low voice pulls in the listener immediately, along with interesting and complex electronic notes that manipulate the beat of the song.
Although this song is less of a social commentary than others on the album, the chorus is impossible to sit still to. Images of dark alleyways and brutal fights mix with the burning and sweet tone of Lorde’s voice, creating a song that pushes the listeners mind into a new world.
“400 Lux” is one of the most electronically fueled songs on the album, although all of the tracks feature some electronic music. The vocals have an airy feel to them, almost along the lines of Ingrid Michaelson, but the base line is made up of sirens and waves, blurring the chorus into a psychedelic movement.
It is clear, especially in this track, that Lorde is a powerful vocalist; however, she continually chooses to manipulate this power with the use of electronic music, which I would normally find very difficult to listen to, but the softness of the blends create beautiful music.
Another favorite track from the album has to be “The Love Club.” This song was originally released on the EP by the same name and is set apart from the rest of the album with a much gentler tone. Although none of the songs can be viewed as harsh or violent, this song is a much simpler choice for Lorde, resembling her song “Royals.”
The song is a commentary; both on the idea of cliques, as well as the idea of going through life without the support of those you love. The lyrics seem to argue that they are mutually exclusive ideas, and those belongings to tight-knit groups do not always benefit.
- Album: Pure Heroine (Extended)
- Artist: Lorde
- Released: December 13, 2013
- Number of Tracks: 16
- Cost on iTunes: $13.99