CCA Pulse Magazine
A New State of Mind: Lorde | Daniel Yachi
With the shy demeanor expected of a teenager at the height of puberty, you wouldn't be blamed for confusing Lorde with just another celebrity publicist while walking the red carpet of the 2015’s Met Gala. Fresh off of her fame from the hit 2013 album “Pure Heroine”, as well as two recent Grammys, 19-year-old Lorde had little to show in front of the paparazzi in comparison to the scale of her success. Fast forward six years, however, and Lorde is seen floating down the red carpet in her sun goddess couture adorned by an elegant floral headpiece. Her confident high fashion strut is worth an Oscar in itself. Her re-debut at the Met is undoubtedly a sign to the world that a new phase in Lorde’s career is just beginning.
That's right, Lorde is back after another four-year hiatus, and her days off have cosmically shifted her music style. While her previous albums “Melodrama” and “Pure Heroine” were often considered to be among the genres of electro pop, dream pop, indie pop, and art pop, her new album “Solar Power” took a turn toward the psychedelic folk genre. Just like her music and her Met Gala appearances, Lorde’s fashion sense has generally changed. A lot like popular artist Billie Eilish, Lorde too has shifted from a more covered and conservative sense of fashion towards showing more skin. In fact, the cover of Lorde’s “Solar Power” album was so revealing that talk shows and stores were forced to cover her revealing cover with blurs or stickers. Somehow, Lorde, the once “Queen of Rebellious Teens”, has transcended to the “Savior of the Hippies”.
But how does this change in Lorde’s normative presentation of her persona affect her music? Well, to start, Lorde has channeled her music into the areas of politics and philosophy more than ever before in “Solar Power”. In comparison to her first two albums, which mainly featured themes of teens troubled with society, “Solar Power” dives a lot deeper into a number of issues, perhaps the most significant being climate change. She essentially facilitates a recurring theme of rejecting materialism and pop culture and moving towards a society more connected with nature and the sun, with lines like “... I throw my cellular device in the water”. Her clothing also connects to this theme shift, worshiping the individual as is rather than calculating peoples’ worth on their material possessions. With lines like “No shirt, no shoes, only my features”, Lorde somewhat explains her motives to move towards more revealing clothes to celebrate her features. Another unique track Lorde made, “Mood Ring”, takes on a satirical tone, which is quite unheard of for Lorde fans, making fun of the tone deafness and almost ridiculous nature of specifically white women in wellness culture. Finally, Lorde released a second mini album just weeks after she released “Solar Power”, which featured the same exact songs but in Maori, the language of the people native to New Zealand.
With all of these efforts made by Lorde to have an impactful experience on her listeners around the world, there is no doubt that Lorde is a true star with a lot more to bring to the table than most other mainstream artists.