10 Songs, 37 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

At just 16 years old, New Zealand pop singer Ella Yelich-O’Connor—d.b.a. Lorde—captured the top of the pop charts with the smart and wise-beyond-her-years single “Royals,” where she trashes modern pop and hip-hop’s obsession with materialism in favor of a world of love, friendship, and ideas. It’s the best Morrissey song he never wrote. Her earlier The Love Club EP primed audiences for what they’d be hearing, but nothing could prepare one for the actual excitement of her debut album’s best cuts. Lorde’s co-conspirator/producer/writer Joel Little ensures that songs like “Tennis Court,” “Ribs," and “Buzzcut Season” never lose their way. This is sharp, inspired pop music that knows how much fun it can be to play up to type and then spin things on their heads for a new conclusion.

EDITORS’ NOTES

At just 16 years old, New Zealand pop singer Ella Yelich-O’Connor—d.b.a. Lorde—captured the top of the pop charts with the smart and wise-beyond-her-years single “Royals,” where she trashes modern pop and hip-hop’s obsession with materialism in favor of a world of love, friendship, and ideas. It’s the best Morrissey song he never wrote. Her earlier The Love Club EP primed audiences for what they’d be hearing, but nothing could prepare one for the actual excitement of her debut album’s best cuts. Lorde’s co-conspirator/producer/writer Joel Little ensures that songs like “Tennis Court,” “Ribs," and “Buzzcut Season” never lose their way. This is sharp, inspired pop music that knows how much fun it can be to play up to type and then spin things on their heads for a new conclusion.

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About Lorde

Where previous generations of teenagers frequently had to endure middle-aged marketing managers’ ideas of what entertainment should look like, millennial teens were #blessed with one of pop culture’s greatest young laureates: New Zealand’s Ella Yelich-O’Connor, a.k.a. Lorde. After being spotted at a talent show and signing to Universal at age 12, she quickly chewed through a series of writing partners until she met Joel Little, a fellow Auckland native and former pop-punk frontman. Together, they wrote “Royals,” a song that not only defined her perspective—with its unimpressed, teenage dismissal of material obsessions—but also propelled her skeletal electro-pop debut, 2013’s Pure Heroine, to a Grammy nomination. She captured the late-night trains home, clandestine kisses, and heavy symbolism of your first love remembering to buy your favorite juice—little of which, she seemed to know, lasts. But Lorde’s feel for suburban adolescent disconnect catalyzed into precocious power moves—such as curating the soundtrack for the third Hunger Games movie—and an astute lens on the wider world on 2017’s Melodrama. Richer in sound and experience, the album found strength in different kinds of isolation: the temporary plight of the newly heartbroken and the lifelong fate of the writer.

HOMETOWN
Auckland, New Zealand
BORN
November 7, 1996

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