Lorde’s rise to the global stage was nothing short of meteoric. Glorious as it was fascinating to behold, 2013 saw her name light up from Auckland and reach the world over. Her debut album Pure Heroine blew up seemingly overnight and earned her fans in high places. Praise from David Bowie, critical acclaim, festival slots, Grammy Awards and enormous tours followed. 17, armed with a sound and maturity many described as being beyond her years, she became pop music’s antithesis and icon. Lorde was one in the same. In the three-odd years since though, things have gone a little quiet in the Lorde camp – at least as far as new music is concerned.
She’s reached the same elusive status as Frank Ocean and HAIM, with fans all over the world and social media speculating about when she’d be dropping a new album, a single, anything. She managed to sneak in collaborations (Disclosure, Magnets), contributed to a mega-franchise (The Hunger Games Soundtrack, Yellow Flicker Beat) and continued to champion her brand of girls building one another up.
Midway through last year; however, there was a peep. A hint dropped into the laps of fans and speculators who suggested that perhaps she was a one album wonder. In August, a fan commented on an Instagram post demanding to know whether or not they should keep holding out hope for a new album. When asking if they should “give up” on Lorde as an artist, the musician responded with a firm, forthright message about artistry and upcoming music.
Give up on me if you want to! I’m an artist, I write a record when I have enough special stories to tell, and it’s all me, every melody, every lyric, not some team who just start the machine up every eighteen months like clockwork. The record is written, we’re in the production stage now. I’ve worked like a dog for a year making this thing great for you guys.
It was another few months before she graced a stage again, hitting up the Third Annual Ally Coalition with a rendition of Robyn’s Hang With Me, marking her return to performing for the first time in half a year. On the eve of her 20th birthday, she shared an update about her sophomore album in which she confirmed that it was well on its way. She spoke of the sparkling wonder of moving into adulthood (but also in not quite knowing how to do so). She wrote of the way the makeup and hair and free handbags and paparazzi had faded away and instead that every one in a while she meets a fan and feels “this SHOCK of love”. She told of how she’d spent the year learning and growing and that she “maxed out every single emotion I have in the best possible way, the colours still aching behind my eyes like this weird blissful hangover.”
And of course, that she’d written an album.
That was late last year, rounding off a relatively tame 2016 in the public eye – which, as evidenced by the fact that such a year produced an entire album, isn’t to say it had been so behind closed doors. Now, we are mere hours since the release of her new single and Lorde is ready to show us “the new world” through her new song Green Light – her first single in almost two years. You can check out the brand new music video for it below:
i am so proud of this song. it’s very different, and kinda unexpected. it’s complex and funny and sad and joyous and it’ll make you DANCE
— Lorde (@lorde) 1 March 2017
it’s the first chapter of a story i’m gonna tell you, the story of the last 2 wild, fluorescent years of my life. this is where we begin
— Lorde (@lorde) 1 March 2017
With a number of teaser snippets sprinkled across Twitter along with a handful of small-scale events in Auckland, Lorde has given us a preview into what we can expect of her new material. So far we can gather that it’s fiery, fast and as confident as ever – perhaps even more so. Where she once favoured a stripped back production, there’s a fervent, urgent energy surrounding Green Light and it’s infectious. The world is ready for the party to start and everything is bright, fresh and new.