She may be awkward, she may be intimidating but no one can doubt that Lorde has serious talent. Born in New Zealand, Ella Yelich-O’Connor is a 17 year old girl with a serious goal set for world domination. 2013 saw the release or Lorde’s EP ‘The Love Club’ alongside the release of her debut single. ‘Royals’ went 6 times platinum in Australia, United States and Canada, 4 times platinum in New Zealand and Gold in the United Kingdom. You couldn’t turn on the radio without hearing the song within the half hour and even though it was overplayed and overexposed it was a hard song to get over. The EP itself was a solid release and allowed people to connect with the singer. ‘Bravado’ and ‘Biting Down’ were the true highlights on the EP and are still songs she features in her live sets.
‘Tennis Court’ was the follow up single and even though it took a little while for radio to pick up and love the track they eventually did. The song went double platinum in Australia and New Zealand and really enforced the fact that Lorde wasn’t going to disappear anytime soon. Expectations grew higher for her debut album and after speculation the album was confirmed for release on 27 September 2013.
‘Pure Heroine’ is a very impressive and strong debut album but on a first listen the album didn’t connect straight away. It took a few listens to really appreciate the unique sound and lyrics that Lorde was conveying in her songs. Standout tracks included ‘400 Lux’, ‘Ribs’, ‘Glory And Gore’, ‘A World Alone’ and recent single ‘Team’. The album was compared to the likes of Adele and Lana Del Rey commending her song writing and production efforts. ‘Pure Heroine’ was a commercial and critical success and quickly became one of the must have albums of 2013. To promote the album she performed on ‘Live With Letterman’, ‘Ellen’ as well as performing at the Aria Awards and New Zealand Music Awards. In January 2014 she then took her career to the next step by performing at The Grammy’s as well as winning two awards at the ceremony which is an incredible feat for a debut artist from New Zealand. The success Lorde has had at such a young age is almost unheard of. She is really ‘killing’ it with a sold out U.S tour and a newly announced Australian tour which will no doubt sell out very quickly. Her live shows are something that has to be witnessed for itself. Her live vocals are indescribable; it’s so effortless and captivating that she just gives you goose bumps. Her quirky banter and interpretive dancing also make the shows different to other pop artists as there is no choreography or theatrics, it’s all about the music.
Something Lorde does have to be careful about is the way she presents herself in interviews. She can come across quite arrogant at times and almost as if she’s above other artists. She is quite young and maybe it is a thing she will get better at over time and with more practice as she has been thrown into the deep end quite quickly. She’s dealt with a few situations badly through social media and that’s another thing she has to be weary about. It’s very quick and easy to tweet something when you want to rant (we have all done it) but once it’s done, even if you delete it, it will be on the internet permanently. An example of this was when she arrived back in New Zealand after the Grammy’s and got mobbed at the Airport by fans and media who were there to congratulate her. She tweeted “I know that success comes with a price tag. It just sucks when you see that in your tiny home country where you previously felt safe.” She also labelled the welcoming from the overbearing media as “sad”.
One thing that has never changed with Lorde is her love and appreciation for the fans. Ever since ‘The Love Club’ was released she has had a strong connection with them and always seems to go out of her way to meet them. I spoke to Sia Cambaclis from Brisbane Australia who had a humbling experience with the singer. She explained whilst the singer got escorted by police and security into the Virgin Lounge at Brisbane Airport she sent the police out to bring the group of fans inside the Lounge to meet the singer. “She posed for photos and spoke to us for a solid 10 minutes. She is so kind and beautiful and seriously one of the most humble people I’ve met”. Whilst on her Australian tour with Laneway Festival she was doing this in every city to make sure the fans got their special moment.
Lorde is unique and a breath of fresh air in the music industry. Her debut album has made a massive impact and has secured herself a firm place on the charts for a few months. Her vocals are so pure and raw that when you listen to them live you just know you are witnessing something special. If you understand the hype or don’t you can’t deny that the girl has got serious talent and really deserves the success and recognition she has received.
Catch Lorde on her Australian Tour when she tours in April/May 2014. Tickets are on sale now through Ticketek and Ticketmaster.
Thursday, 24th April – Festival Hall, Melbourne
Sunday, 27th April – EC Theatre, Adelaide
Tuesday, 29th April – Challenge Stadium, Perth
Friday, 2nd May – Hordern Pavilion, Sydney
Saturday, 3rd May – Hordern Pavilion, Sydney
Sunday, 4th May – Entertainment Centre, Newcastle
Tuesday, 6th May – Riverstage, Brisbane