I am forever envious of artists with considerably more talent and success than I could ever possibly have. Especially when they are considerably younger than me.
16-year-old Ella Maria Lani Yelich-O’Connor, better known by her performance name, ‘Lorde’, is no exception. She released her highly anticipated debut album Pure Heroine, just two weeks ago, after the huge success of singles ‘Royals’ and ‘Tennis Court’. Unless you live under a rock, it is pretty unlikely that you have not heard of her. ‘Royals’ plays on the radio non-stop. And by non-stop, I mean that several stations play it frequently, and often, simultaneously. Not that I am complaining!
Pure Heroine is just as powerful. There are no filler songs here. Each song on this 10-track album is fresh, tough and unaffected. Lorde’s voice is a strange mix between ethereal and lazy. Her sound is very layered and echoey, but her soft rapping counters her femininity, and gives her a sense of laid-back cool. This rhythmic and hypnotic sound is laced with lyrics about luxe lifestyles and disconnect.
“When it comes to the lyrics, I write about my friends and my life a lot – the strange social situations and the uneasiness of being my age. There’s a lot of me thinking about loneliness, and fake friends and real friends,” Lorde said, in a VEVO interview.
Lorde sings with the wisdom of someone who has lived a long, fabulous and reckless life. Has she? Who knows? But her music is potent and evidence of an artist who understands the lifestyle better than the people who are living it.
Hometown: Auckland, New Zealand.
Latest album: Pure Heroine, released 27 September 2013.
Sounds like: Lana Del Rey meets Birdy.
Say what? Ella Yelich-O’Connor’s performance name was inspired by aristocratic titles. “I liked the word phonetically, originally, and then just threw an ‘e’ on the end to make it a little bit feminine,” she said, in a VEVO interview.