Lorde has seemingly appeared out of nowhere in recent weeks and shot to the top 10 with her debut album, Pure Heroine, and single, 'Royals'. At only 16 years old, she is achieving what many musicians strive for in a lifetime. And with us both being the same age, she also does a great job of making me feel like I’m doing nothing with my life, as she’s a successful musician while I’m sat at home watching Game of Thrones with my dogs. Thanks, Lorde.She was born in Auckland, New Zealand in 1996 and started writing songs when she was 13. She was soon signed to Universal and released her first EP in 2012. She is described as being an ‘old soul in a young body’ as many of her lyrics criticise mainstream culture and the nature of her peers. Her real name is Ella Yelich O’Connor but she uses the stage name ‘Lorde’, inspired by the idea of having a hidden identity (following in the footsteps of artists such as The Weeknd and Gorillaz), as she liked the mystery surrounding it. Pure Heroine has received a lot of critical acclaim in New Zealand, the USA and Europe, with her single 'Royals' being the first song by a New Zealand-born artist to top the US Top 100 Billboard Chart in seventeen years.
With its catchy vocal line and minimal, but effective, instrumentals, 'Royals' is really nice to listen to and sets the tone for most of the album. Lorde seems to keep all the separate instrumental and vocal parts relatively simplistic, which gives her the opportunity to layer them and create really interesting textures which she does extremely well. The album, as a whole, is great, and I know that because I would happily listen to every single song, which I don’t get with some albums.
She manages to seamlessly merge poetic lyrics with more modern-sounding ones, which shows her insightfulness and makes the lyrics feel a lot more raw and unique-sounding rather than a load of arguably stereotypical lyrics that you’ve heard a million times before in one form or another. The simplicity of Lorde’s music is a very daring route to go down, as her vocals and lyrics are almost laid bare for scrutiny as she isn’t hidden behind heavy bass lines or guitar riffs; however, I think it only highlights her talent as a songwriter and singer.
The striking album cover for Pure Heroine seems to only emphasise that Lorde is here and she’s here to stay, which I’m not complaining about. I would describe her music as really easy listening and the sort of music that’s really nice to do homework to. She’s already received great reviews and recognition from top newspapers such as the Guardian and I definitely think that she’s one to watch in the near future.