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This past year, Lorde’s “Royals” held us in curiosity of a pop song that picked up the grounded dreamer with subtlety. “Royals” sparked a mass audience that now sees value in a song that offers an organic energy and simplicity in its climax. “Royals” is all about the journey rather than the chorus itself. It stays level, steering from hasty deliveries and cheap verses, which is something to celebrate in a time that people expect to hear nimble catch of a chorus see the foreground of pop.
New Zealand’s Ella Maria Lani Yelich-O’Connoris is the mastermind of Lorde and the drive behind Pure Heroine’s reflections of how we wondrously depict everyday life. Although Yelich-O’Connor’s age of 16, at the time of Pure Heroine’s recording, is the source of much attention and awe, Pure Heroine stands as an innovation in the craft of songwriting in general. Lorde manipulates a rhythm and reaches a connection from reality to desire like no other. The album proves itself a deserving player in the world of every artist who strived to reach this vibe before it, rather than just the works of teenagers trying to make a name in the music industry.
Lorde released an EP, The Love Club, in 2012 that rightfully led to anticipation of something thoughtful, maybe an enticing beat to shape around a singer/songwriter type album, but Pure Heroine’s production takes Lorde’s purpose to something deeper. The simple instrumentals, sprawled backing vocals, and often hip hop-esque rhythms reaches beyond genre or expectation. A vast imagination plays out with patience and maturity. “Ribs” represents a track that steadily unfolds beautiful words of vulnerability while keeping relevance instrumentally. No need for a sending the vocals up an octave or breaking down a dance beat, the instrumentals stay as pensive as the lyrics, while keeping grasp of an intense energy. While the lyrics go on–“The dream isn’t feeling sweet, we’re reeling through the midnight streets and I’ve never felt more alone. It feels so scary getting old.”–haunting synthesizer sounds wind in and out, pulsing the hope we keep close throughout the album.
Yelich-O’Connor offers a sense of self-awareness to every track that eases us in a relation to her perspective. Tracks like “Team” that state, “I’m kinda of over getting told to throw my hands up in the air. So there. I’m kinda older than I was when I reveled without a care. So there,” gives us the idea that Yelich-O’Connor knows what people expect of her and how the society thinks she should perceive life, but that just does not play out within reality. She knows that people want a track to cure the aches of living, but living comes with complexity and sometimes youth feels different than the way that everyone tells us that we should be taking it in. Pure Heroine is the courage to state that we do not always need to feel as carefree as we are told to feel; we can accept that sometimes our ideal projects are something different than the songs have led us to believe.