Deepa Alam and Haydn Hickson become ~one~ with their intense excitement for the Lorde’s return
Lorde’s first single since her 2014 Hunger Games anthem Yellow Flicker Beat, this Kiwi starts off in new territory with 90’s-esque dance track Green Light.
But before we talk about her return to music, it’s important to acknowledge the fucked position Lorde was in. As soon as Royals was released, Lorde was doomed. As any aspiring singer would do at the age of 16, she wrote about what she knew. And what we got, was an unexpected, anthemic debut that seemingly counteracted the Party-Rock-Anthem zeitgeist with minimalist, anti-establishment bangers. Unfortunately for Lorde however, her universal appeal put her on the map, and subsequently made her one of them.
At this point, Lorde had two options. Continue to write songs about her teenage museum with her brooding girl-next-door image, and appeal to the fan base that she had built; or stay authentic, and sing about her new-found wealth provider her with gold teeth, grey goose, tripping in the bathroom, blood stained ball gowns, um yeah you get it.
So… avoiding all of this, the Kiwi waited. And waited. Until the next universal-catalyst came along in her life. Love (and lack there of). Jackpot.
The video clip opens up with Lorde singing to herself about parting with a cheating lover, dismally in the bathroom of a club. She has a knack of encompassing the condition of being young, and making it accessible without dumbing it down. The methodical house pulse kicks in and she walks out of the club into a cab, singing about never forgetting this muse, while throwing half her body out of the car, and I can’t help but be reminded of almost identical scenarios in my past. She so beautifully captures the messy and chaotic feelings that out of nowhere, hit as hard as comedown after a night out without sleep, after a tumultuous heartbreak.
In Royals-fashion, Lorde breaks up with her boyfriend by getting the whole world behind her. And I’m not just talking about the “I whisper things, the city sings them back to you” line. Amazingly, across both verses she mutters minute details, offering glimpses into settings featuring Lorde and her cheating, lanky, not-a-real-photographer boyfriend. And in these spaces, she sets up the pair before ripping the paper-love-heart in two.
In the bars and night-clubs; Lorde makes it known that he is hella awkward on the df. Sorry pal, this for-sure Newtown-classic is here to haunt you for the rest of your life. At the beach; Not only is he manifested as a liar, but Lorde has a shark coming for his blood. But let’s be real; the real tragedy is that someone actually believed that he loved the beach. I mean just look for yourself.
It goes from nostalgia to intense doubt, to passionate and spiteful to euphoric and blissful. She’s penned it all in such an enchanting way; you’re reminded of all your ex-lovers as she sings ‘honey’, and as the pre-chorus hits you want to tell them you miss them, but then the beat kicks in and you’ve forgotten why you’re crying, and instead you’re dancing.
The song itself sounds freeing – the euphoric tone of the melody alongside its heavy lyrics and chirpy vocals are kind of reassuring – whatever you felt or are feeling, changes, and takes different forms. It’s very much a personal song; the extent of the experience described in her lyrics can only be understood and felt individually, and you can gather this by her emo stares into the camera.
Initially, I wasn’t sold on the instrumental. Its basic, it’s pretty much just piano chords and nothing really happens in terms of a beat-change-up. However, after a few more listens, it became clear that Lorde’s directing us away from instrumentation and forcing us to listen to her lyrics. Every line seems to be delivered with so much purpose, every word delivered at the perfect moment. The heartbreak becomes catharsis.
Honestly, the only bad thing about Lorde’s new single is the weird, kinda crappy keyboard they used for the odd piano bits, they should’ve just used a real piano. Even then, it’s not bad at all, I just feel I have to make a critique to legitimise my views on this song. Actually, maybe the whisper-echo repeat of liar at the first verse. That was pretty bad.
The kick-start to her new album ‘Melodrama’ may be about parting ways with a lover (regardless if he was cheating or not), but the way Lorde has done it, it just sounds so joyous. It's messy and its fun and it's kinda reckless and kinda dumb – but that's what it's supposed to be.
So, after all that I’m excited. The quality of this lead single matches that of Pure Heroine highlights, which is essential to not fall into the sophomore curse. Hopefully we see more beautifully illustrated explosions of glory and gore. After all, they come hand in hand.
“This is that drunk girl at the party crying about her ex-boyfriend who everyone thinks is a mess,” Lorde tells us. “That’s her tonight, and tomorrow she starts to rebuild.” Her sound might be a little different with her renaissance, but she’s still that same empowering Kiwi gal that creeped up on us all those years ago. I for one, have missed hearing her voice and it feel so good to see her again. Everything is so shiny, bright and new, and oh goodness, we are so ready for the ‘Melodrama’.