At the tender age of 17 I was a pretty accomplished individual. I had already managed to figure out how the internet catered for teenage boys. I had already tallied up as many hours stood outside the classroom as I ever did in it. I had discovered that Jim Bean made my head go all fizzy, making me unbearably irritating, and I had managed to mould my room into a kind of warm, sticky boy cave where no surface was safe to touch and the line between what was alive and what wasn’t was worryingly thin. Lorde on the other hand has merely written and recorded a handful of disgustingly brilliant tracks which have seen her picked up by Universal, banded about as the next MIA and all whilst continuing to impress academically. Amateur.
Lorde is the stage name of 17-year-0ld Kiwi Ella, a slightly mysterious individual who writes and performs her own brand of alternative soul-pop. The quality of material released by Lorde is not only testament to her major label backing but also the outstanding maturity she exudes in her songwriting. Reminiscent of the aforementioned MIA and Swedish siren Robyn, Lorde has already managed to fill an EP with noteworthy singles, an EP available for free via her website. The toughest part of today’s post was choosing which track to focus on and although Million Dollar Bills and The Love Club are both stand out tracks, I flipped a proverbial coin and decided to take a closer look at ‘Royals’.
From the first few seconds of ‘Royals’ you know you’re listening to a special talent. Lorde’s voice is smoky and rich whilst her beats are modern and infectious. The individuality of Lorde spreads from her voice to her genre, she doesn’t follow suit with the metallic sounds of the electro-pop world or sit behind a piano talking of love and loss like Regina Spektor but she somehow concentrates the best of both worlds, creating something that feels new, but classic. The track is an attitude ridden tale of riches and excess, the clicking fingers and layered vocals giving the song a diva-like swagger matching Lorde’s dulcet tones. The song structure is crisp and minimalistic, using anthemic palpitations and periods of silence and echo to emphasise just how impressive Lorde’s lyrics and vocals are. Everything about the track screams experience and maturity. Lorde is clearly an artist who is far beyond her years and if she is this good at 16 then the mind boggles at what we might hear in the next few years. Keep an eye and an ear out for this one.