Lorde: Pure Heroine

21 Dec

Lorde is everything I wish I heard in pop music. Pure Heroine presents itself as a pop album, yet reads like indie electronica fronted by a deft, distinctive voice: a rare mythical creature in the pop industry.

Lorde broke into the pop industry earlier this year with hit single “Royals”: a candid critique of pop music itself. With the lyrics

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, we’re driving Cadillacs in our dreams.
But everybody’s like Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece
Jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash,
We don’t care, we aren’t caught up in your love affair.

the seventeen-year-old New Zealander addresses the discrepancy between what artists portray and what they embody. Whilst popular artists of today glorify the spoils of marginalisation, the ones who make it onto the charts have become so gauchely wealthy as to be completely disconnected from the audience they address; continuing to capitalize from the background they have abandoned.

[This song is coupled with one of the rawest, most honest videos I’ve ever seen. I’m still in awe.]

The only thing seventeen about Lorde, besides the lingering sweetness of youth in her nonetheless mature and powerful voice, is the wonderment, in her lyrics, of somebody gazing upon her impending adulthood with a young pair of eyes: the raw, vulnerable, “wait, is this really how we do things..?” 

Cover for “Tennis Court”, an earlier single also included on Pure Heroine

I know we’re not everlasting
We’re a train wreck waiting to happen
One day the blood won’t flow so gladly
One day we’ll all get still.
(Lyrics from “A World Alone”)

Tearing her stories (still beating and bleeding) straight from her everyday life, Lorde does not evade (like those she criticises) the relative comfort of her suburban upbringing, but breathes into it a poignance and relatability, singing of the melancholic isolation that no amount of money can abate.

All my fake friends and all of their noise, complain about work
They’re studying business, I study the floor, and you haven’t stopped smoking all night.
Maybe the Internet raised us, or maybe people are jerks.
(These lyrics are also from “A World Alone”.)

Lorde is one of the precious few musicians – a single digit among hundreds – whose music, although catchy and accessible, is also truly special – sonically, melodically, thematically – flipping the attentive listener over into a physically identical world that feels at once more poetic and more real than anything they’ve ever experienced.


One Response to “Lorde: Pure Heroine”


  1. Racism, Feminism, Miley Cyrus, Lily Allen & Lorde: We need to talk about this. Properly. | As of yet Untitled - 22 December 2013

    […] Verónica Bayetti Flores published an article calling sixteen-year-old chart-topper-out-of-nowhere Lorde “deeply racist” for her lyrics in “Royals”: a blunt critique of the […]

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