The Queen has returned.
While most UF students were enjoying their spring breaks, visiting tropical destinations or knocking over motorcycles, I was holed up in my room, listening to “Green Light” on repeat.
After an extended hiatus, Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O'Connor, more commonly known by her stage name, Lorde, released two singles from her sophomore album Melodrama, which is set to drop this summer. Four years after Pure Heroine made her a pillar of pop punk and indietronica, Lorde’s newest songs reveal a raw, unfiltered side to the artist. Her latest singles tell stories of heartbreak and deceit, all the while delivering sick burns to her ex.
Focusing on the moments between her break-up and the future, Lorde shines a spotlight on her failed relationship, “I know what you did and I want to scream the truth/she thinks you love the beach, you're such a damn liar," she sings, the first insult of many.
“Green Light” only gets more ruthless from there. Lyrics about sharks, teeth and other predatory images pepper every line of the song, exposing a pained and vulnerable side to the 20-year old artist never before heard by fans.
Lorde walks the line between heartlessness and fragility flawlessly, singing, "But honey I'll/be seeing you wherever I go” The song sends the listener on a rollercoaster of emotions, from hate to heartbreak in just under four minutes, it ends on a hopeful note.
Not one to leave her fans unsatisfied, Lorde released a second single from Melodrama, “Liability,” a bare-bones piano ballad, reminiscent of the work of Adele, Sia, and other female pop powerhouses.
Previously unbeknownst to listeners, Lorde has the vocal capability to carry a big piano ballad. And she does it damn well.
One of the most intriguing lines of “Liability” comes as Lorde sings, “So I guess I'll go home, into the arms of the girl that I love/ The only love I haven't screwed up/ She's so hard to please, but she's a forest fire.” It begs the question, is she talking about being in a relationship with another woman? Lorde already has a strong fan base within the LBGT community, so this added tease is enticing.
However, the fake out comes shortly after when Lorde ends the verse with, “We slow dance in the living room, but all that a stranger would see/ Is one girl, swaying alone, stroking the cheek." Plainly speaking, Lorde is talking about coming home to find comfort from within.
In contrast to her other bops, “Liability” is stripped down, devoid of the synth, bass, and drums that are signatures of her style, giving her impressive vocals a chance to shine. Every movement in Lorde’s voice, every strum of the guitar, every plunk of flesh hitting ivory is heard loud and clear.
From what I’ve heard thus far, the long wait for Lorde was definitely worth it. Her sophomore album, Melodrama, comes out June 16th and is available for pre-order now.