I listened to the new Lorde album, Pure Heroine, over the weekend. New Zealand, I think we may have an instant classic.
Now I’m mindful that I may be a little biased by the fact that I am a patriotic Kiwi and Lorde is one of our own, but evidence for this album’s substance (get it substance) is found in the quality of the work, not my opinion – and judging by how Lorde comes across in her interviews, I think she and her team would have it no other way.
The album from start to finish intrigues you. Lorde invites you into her mystery that gradually unfolds throughout the album but never becomes fully realised. The album is like a piece of music that takes you on it’s journey that doesn’t reslove back to it’s root chord – a space where Lorde and her team have us right where they want us.
And musically, there’s so much to love about the album.
Lorde’s vocals and music are refreshingly unique. In a world of pop princesses who lack differentiation, Lorde’s sound has the world trying to figure out exactly where she fits – and I believe that’s exactly how Lorde and her team would have it. If people can’t decide where Lorde fits in the music industry, she remains out of the box, unlabelled, uncompartmentalised.
Some have tried to compare her to others in her music peer group, saying her sound is similar to artists like Lana Del Rey, but I think this minimises just how unique a sound Lorde has. To me, Lorde and her team have done a great job in beginning the crafting of a new sound which is why people are getting so excited – people want to join a new journey, one of new discovery, of fresh potential unlocked – and in this 16-year-old from Auckland, New Zealand, people have found just that.
The drums on the album are something to behold. Simple but intricate. Understated but full – still artistic in nature, understanding that music can be found in the empty spaces of pieces as much as in the full bass lines and deep drum loops.
The production and songwriting on the album is also quality, meticulously measured, ordered in a way that best reveals the mystery Lorde and her team want the world to be part of.
It was difficult to choose my favourite tracks on the album (and to be honest I think this may change as I listen to the album more) but I would have to say my favourites on the album at this stage are Buzzcut Season, White Teeth Teens and Ribs. All very different, all great in their own artistic ways.
For me, this album goes down as one of the best albums to come out of New Zealand in recent memory with Lorde being one of our (New Zealand’s) most interesting artists. Her worldwide appeal is, and will be, birthed out of what makes her unique and that’s what really excites me about her and her music.
If this is the debut full-length album project, it’s frightening to think of the heights, and audiences, Lorde and her team can reach with their sound more refined, realised and shared. And the world eagerly awaits how that will play out – but in the meantime Pure Heroine will provide plenty of mystery and food for the soul until that time comes.