“But every song’s like gold teeth, grey goose, trippin’ in the bathroom, blood stains, ball gowns, trashin’ the hotel room, we don’t care,” sings Ella Yelich-O’Connor. Known by her stage name, Lorde, she emphasizes her originality through her songs and steps outside the music boundaries with her style of conflating alternative and pop music.
Lorde’s first full album, “Pure Heroine,” will make listeners feel as if life has just been breathed into them. This relatively new artist uses soothing indie background beats to support her powerful vocals, creating a hauntingly beautiful sound that will gives the listener goosebumps.
Lorde, who is just 17, was discovered performing in a talent show in her hometown of Auckland, New Zealand, when she was just 12. She was immediately signed by a record company. As an amateur fiction writer and daughter of a poet, Lorde wrote her own lyrics at the age of 15 for her first EP, a mini-album that was released last March.
Lorde creates music for the purpose of pleasing herself, not others, and this is a main reason for her success. Her music focuses on trying to get teenagers like her to see both the good and the bad in life; she includes relatable lines such as “we live in cities you’ll never see on the screen.” She tries to move away from the typical pop love and breakup songs, believing such music “isn’t the best thing for young girls to be hearing or molding their lives around,” she said in an interview with The Huffington Post.
“Pure Heroine,” which blew the nation away when it was released in September, contains mellifluous tunes such as “400 Lux” and “Ribs,” as well as more upbeat songs like “Glory and Gore.” Nearly all of Lorde’s tracks include backgrounds that contrast her voice. The simple rhythms allow Lorde’s voice to remain clear and powerful.
Though often compared to artists like Lana Del Rey and Charli XCX, Lorde adds a unique characteristic to her work. In “A World Alone,” my personal favorite, the slight jingling of a tambourine can be heard among the sharp drums, which gives a unique feel to the melody.
In “Buzzcut Season,” the heavenly chorus consistently evokes an image of someone desperately trying to soar but being held down by real life. A minimalistic effect is featured in many of Lorde’s pieces, such as “Tennis Court,” where echoing creates an intended, intoxicating sound.
Lorde’s songs show different aspects of a teenager’s life, from how the world glorifies violence in “Glory and Gore” to the stress and anxieties of daily life in “Ribs.” Even as Lorde croons about how she is far from living the luxurious life, her raw talent places her among music royalty.
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