Lorde Returns to Music with ‘Solar Power’


Lorde in the music video for “Solar Power.” (Courtesy Universal Music New Zealand)

By India Bown, Arts Writer


New Zealand-based singer-songwriter Lorde made a comeback this summer, four years after the release her second and most recent album “Melodrama,” with the release of single “Solar Power” and announcement of an upcoming album of the same name. 

Introduction to the Industry

Lorde first struck fame with her first ever single “Royals” in 2013 at the young age of 15. The song, which has now garnered over 800 million streams on Spotify, made Lorde a fresh face in the media and illustrated a deep, rich vocal quality that she would later become known for. Delivering poetic lyrics and a unique style, Lorde rose in the music charts, staying at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for a consecutive nine weeks with “Royals,” breaking the record set before her by Alanis Morissette.

With the help of producer and writer Joel Little, the New Zealand native was able to fine-tune lyrics and verses that had the potential to be global hits. On her first EP “Pure Heroine,” Lorde and Little workshopped the young artist’s writing along with the simple background rhythm, creating popular songs “Team,” “Tennis Court” and “Love Club.” The alternative pop album reached No. 3 the year of its release and stayed on the Billboard charts for over 100 weeks.

Lorde shares a narrative of lackluster life in “Royals” with lyrics, “I’ve never seen a diamond in the flesh… I’m not proud of my address.” In “Tennis Court,” she acknowledges her fears of stepping into the limelight. “Pretty soon I’ll be getting on my first plane… How can I f**k with the fun again when I’m known.” 

Four years after “Pure Heroine,” Lorde’s sound evolved into a style of dreamy electric pop, but didn’t lose her brilliant rhymes and personal lyrics about growing up. In “Melodrama,” released in 2017, Lorde reflects on difficult experiences with a sobering self-awareness for a 19-year-old with lyrics like, “Midnight, lose my mind, I know you’re feeling it too / Can we keep up with the ruse,” in “Sober.”

“Melodrama” also included songs “Green Light,” “Homemade Dynamite” and “Perfect Places,” all of which were played on the radio repeatedly. The indie-alternative tracks kept Lorde on the map globally and pushed the 2017 release to the top of the Billboard 200 charts.

“Solar Power” and Artist’s Hiatus

Many fans have questioned the lack of new material and general social media silence from Lorde over the last few years, speculating on whether or not the artist would return or stop making music for good. On the two-year anniversary of “Melodrama” in 2019, the rumors were cleared up with a social media post from the singer. The post clarified her intentions with music, explained the importance of her journey, and hinted at an upcoming release by saying, “Third one in the oven.”

The first taste of what’s to come is the single “Solar Power,” a summer anthem different from the style she introduced in “Royals,” but similar in simple vocals and infectious beats, with lyrics, “Lead the boys and girls onto the beaches, come one, come all, I’ll tell you my secrets, I’m kinda like a prettier Jesus.”

“Solar Power” is accentuated with backup vocals from top artists Clairo and Phoebe Bridgers, known for their soft voices and songwriting abilities, which has only created more buzz around the new album and other possible collaborations.

There were Lorde fans who didn’t receive the single as well as previous releases. Still, on social media platforms including YouTube, Instagram and TikTok, where people have expressed feeling underwhelmed by the release, it still plays repeatedly as a summer anthem and continues to create anticipation for Lorde’s work.

Critics call “Solar Power” the “rebirth” of Lorde’s music, along with her image, showing her glowing presence on the album cover. 

On June 21, Lorde announced the track list for the upcoming album, set to release on Aug. 20 to round out a summer dedicated to “Solar Power.”


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