It didn’t take long for New Zealand-born singer Ella Maria Lani Yelich-O’Connor, better known by her stage name as Lorde, to conquer the indie-pop music world. In what seems like only a few days after first finding out about Lorde through her first hit “Royals”, she was already taking the internet by storm and playing on nearly every radio station in town. I must admit, there are few artists like Lorde that I listen to regularly, but for some reason I’m finding Pure Heroine to be quite addicting …
Her first extended play titled, The Love Club, was released in November 2012 and featured five songs including the tremendously successful single “Royals”. At the time, O’Connor was a mere 15 years old, studying at Takapuna Grammar School in New Zealand. After releasing her EP, “Royals” would go on to debut at the number 1 spot on the New Zealand Top 40, and eventually also reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 alternative charts, a position that only one other female, Tracy Bonham, has ever reached. At the age of 15, Lorde was already the first New Zealand solo artist to have a number one song in the United States. Currently, “Royals” sits at the number two spot on the alternative charts for the first time in 16 weeks, finally being dethroned by neo-soul band Fitz & the Tantrums. With so much success in such a short amount of time, it seems as if Lorde has only just begun her conquest of the music world.
Despite the New Zealander’s young age, Lorde has an aura about her that makes her seem much wiser than her years.
Lorde’s debut album, Pure Heroine, was released on September 27, and has since been well-received by both print and digital media critics. The 10-track record features Lorde’s signature mix of taunting vocals and astonishingly simple melodies that is an easy-listen throughout all of the album’s tracks. Joel Little, the album’s producer, also helped O’Connor write several of the songs on Pure Heroine, including both “Royals” and “Ribs”. Despite the New Zealander’s young age, Lorde has an aura about her that makes her seem much wiser than her years. Upon my first listen through Pure Heroine, the song that sticks out as O’Connor’s best lyrical song is undoubtedly “Ribs”. With vocals such as, “We’re so happy even when we’re smiling out of fear, it looks alright in the pictures,” I can hardly believe her songwriting history is just three years young. “I’ve never felt more alone. It feels so scary, getting old.” With lyrics like this, Lorde elegantly brings to light the underlying fears that people try to hide by pretending that they don’t care about anything or anyone.
There are several other outstanding tracks on Pure Heroine, including her latest single “Team”, and the soon-to-be-a-hit song “Tennis Court.” Lorde’s lyricism continues to baffle me throughout the entirety of the album, and I often find myself wanting to blast her quotes out to my entire generation. “I’m kind of over getting told to throw my hands up in the air. So there,” might just be my favorite excerpt from the debut album. Pure Heroine could very well be 2013’s soundtrack thus far, and Lorde seems prepared for anyone to critique her latest work as she closes out the 40-minute album with the words, “People they talk…Let them talk.”
Recently, Lorde was invited by Katy Perry to tour with her, but surprisingly, O’Connor politely and firmly declined the offer. A smart decision in my opinion. Perhaps Lorde is as wise as she seems, and hopefully she will remain one of the few honest artists in her age group, unlike her peers such as Miley Cyrus (which is almost an insult to even compare the two). Watch Lorde’s single “Royals” below.