4 years after the release of her debut record, Lorde resurrects to capture growing into adulthood through intelligently thought out and immensely heart-breaking pop music.
‘I do my makeup in somebody else’s car’ exclaims Lorde in the opening line to her new record ‘Melodrama’; her first release in almost 5 years. Last time we heard her on record she was ‘dancing in this world alone’ and now, with this new release, it’s clear that she’s grown up but by no means has the dancing let up.
After breaking away from long-time producer and collaborator Joel Little -the mind behind her break out songs ‘Royals’ and ‘Team’- Lorde began working with Bleachers and Fun’s Jack Antonoff. Inspired by the likes of Robyn and Paul Simon’s ‘Loveless’ they began creating her highly anticipated sophomore record together, mostly between the years Lorde was 18 and 19. In an interview during the early stages of the album’s creation, Lorde stated that the new album would be about growing away from her life as a young girl living in a suburb in New Zealand; an idea beautifully portrayed in her courageous debut, ‘Pure Heroine’.
It’s clear that since then she has grown, but not too much: ‘I hate the headlines and the weather I’m nineteen and I’m on fire’ in ‘Perfect Places’ and ‘hands under your t-shirt, know I think you’re awesome, right?’ in ‘Homemade Dynamite’ are two exquisitely crafted, tongue in cheek lines reminiscent of her younger self in the likes of ‘Buzzcut Season’ or ‘Ribs’. However, these are greatly juxtaposed by songs like ‘Sober II Interlude’, a stomach churning adaptation of standout track ‘Sober’ about what happens when the party ends. ‘Oh, how fast the evening passes cleaning up the champagne glasses.’ she cries in an angelic falsetto.
Her growth continues to be gloriously documented throughout, as well as her heartbreak. Lorde has said that although she wouldn’t call ‘Melodrama’ a ‘break up album’, the end of her relationship with long-time boyfriend James Lowe inspired many of its songs. And this is most evident in ‘Writer in The Dark’; an aching, slow, piano accompanied track where we see Lorde at her most broken and raw. ‘I’ll love you till my breathing stops, I’ll love you till you call the cops on me’ she desperately screams and pleads in the song’s chorus, at which point the listener is holding her heart in their hands. It’s clear that Lorde wears her heart on her sleeve; a quality which makes her as a musician that much more loveable. And a quality which evidently makes this the perfect sophomore album.
If ‘Pure Heroine’ was Lorde ‘counting her dollars on the train to the party,’ ‘Melodrama’ is the story of her tragic, glamorous arrival.
Listen to ‘Melodrama’ here
Words by Mac Benson.