Lorde‘s rise to fame late 2013, was a refreshing one. The young lady made a few statements right off the bat refusing her pictures to be photoshopped, and her dark kind-of-gothic look changed. By doing so, she was addressing her opposition to stars who are famous only for their looks and attracted the rest of the planet who, like her, don’t adopt these values. Is our integrity level higher or stronger at 17. Probably.

One thing for sure, Lorde’s music tastes are very well displayed on her first opus. Minimalist approach in the music à la James Blake – limited to electronic beat box and a few layers of keyboards – led her voice and lyrics to shine, highlighting her pop affinities à la La Roux as much as her refreshing youth. On (the now famous) Royals, it’s basically her voice in layers with a very simple beat and low bass vibes. Great melodies can go far and we can bet this song will be covered later on as it went to be ab instant pop classic of the 2010 decade.

 

On another strong single, Buzzcut Season, Lorde’s contentment of a 3-note melody on the electric piano shows how great she is at creating beautiful melodies out of almost nothing. She also masters the bored but wise teen attitude that she transforms into captivating ambiance that fits as well in the middle of the night, as it fills the air around the pool of a boring hot summer afternoon. Beauty in boredom at its best.

One could argue that many songs are made of the same mold but then that’s what we also need to appreciate an album: consistency in sound, mood and themes. I personally prefer the uniformity in an album, or at least in this type of album. Its artistic direction is clear and strongly stated. It’s an all-or-nothing attitude that is impressive for a debutant artist, especially at only 17.

Here are other songs from “Pure heroine”.

 

Born in Takapuna and raised in Devonport, Auckland (the north island of New Zealand), Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor (yeah, that’s Lorde’s real name) was spotted for her talent at a very young age. Universal folks had seen the potential of When she was very young, signing her at age 13! They matched her with producer and fellow New Zealander Joel Little, and they released “The Love Club” EP in 2013, that gained Lorde immediate success.

lorde live 2015

“Pure Heroine” brought her to instant world fame, becoming friends with Taylor Swift and Jennifer Lawrence at international awards shows (they’re all approximately the same age), shining like the (darker) star she now is. The single Royals made her the youngest solo artist to reach the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart since Tiffany’s I Think We’re Alone Now, in 1987.

lorde taylor swift

Best of friends! Lorde and superstar Taylor Swift

Without a doubt, “Pure Heroine” was one of the most impactful albums of all 2014, as singles we’re released through the year. The Wikipedia page specifies that “the record debuted at number one on the Official New Zealand Music Chart and the Australian ARIA Charts. “Pure Heroine” performed strongly on international record charts, reaching number three on the U.S. Billboard 200 and charting within the top-ten in eight additional countries”. It will be interesting to see where she’ll go with her follow-up album.

LORDE
Pure Heroine
(Republic / Universal, 2013)

-Genre: electronic pop
-In the same angle as Grimes, Bat For Lashes, James Blake

Follow the artist via her Facebook page
Listen to videos on the artist’s YouTube channel

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About The Author

Nicolas Pelletier

Mélomane invétéré plongeant dans tous les genres et époques, Nicolas Pelletier a publié 6 000 critiques de disques et concerts depuis 1991, dont 1100 chez emoragei magazine et 600 sur enMusique.ca, dont il a également été le rédacteur en chef de 2009 à 2014. Il publie "Les perles rares et grands crus de la musique" en 2013, lance le site RREVERB en 2014, et devient stratège numérique des radios de Bell Média en 2015, participant au lancement de la marque iHeartRadio au Canada en 2016. Il dirige maintenant la stratégie numérique d'ICI Musique, la radio musicale de Radio-Canada.