There are three things to know about New Zealand. The first is The Lord of the Rings, the second is What We Do in the Shadows, and the other is Lorde. Lorde was born on 7 November 1996. She has both New Zealand and Croatia citizenship. She grew up in the slums of Devanport. One of the advantages of growing up in a small city is that her talent immediately comes to the fore.
Lorde was enrolled in a drama club with a friend when she was five years old, and her talent for music and theater was discovered. When she started high school, she won the talent contest with her friend Louis McDonald. When McDonald’s father saw Lorde’s talent, he sent Lorde’s video to some music companies. Thanks to this, Lorde signed a contract with Universal Music Group, a record label when she was only 13, and started working with songwriter-producer Joel Little. She started her singing training twice a week and also started writing her own songs.
THE LOVE CLUB EP
Maclachlan praised it as a “strong piece of music” when Lorde and Little had completed their first collaborative project, The Love Club EP, but was concerned whether the EP might profit because at the time Lorde was obscure.The artist self-released the EP for free download in November 2012 via her SoundCloud account. After it had been downloaded 60,000 times, UMG commercially released The Love Club in March 2013, which signaled that Lorde had attracted a variety of audiences. In New Zealand and Australia, it hit number two.
In September 2013, Lorde’s debut Pure Heroine studio album containing the single “Royals” was released to critical acclaim; it appeared on several year-end album lists. For its depiction of suburban youth disillusionment and criticisms of pop culture, the album gained significant attention.
In February 2014, the album reached sales of one million copies in the U. S., becoming the first female artist’s debut album to accomplish the feat since Adele’s 2008 album 19. Pure Heroine received a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Vocal Album, selling four million copies worldwide as of May 2017.Later , Lorde was featured on the soundtrack for the 2013 film The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, performing a cover of Tears for Fears’ 1985 song “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”.
For the 2014 film The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 1, Lorde also curated the accompanying soundtrack, overseeing the compilation of the material of the album as well as recording four songs, including its lead single “Yellow Flicker Beat” The track received a Golden Globe award for Best Original Song for Lorde in 2015.
Clearly she’s commenting on how the music industry / pop culture is all about materialistic stuff.
Most rappers / pop starts sing/rap about all the things she mentions: crystals, jet planes, islands, tigers on gold leashes and gold teeth (etc). Which she doesn’t care much for…because in her dreams she’s made it (symbolism for drivin’ Cadillacs in our dreams) but she still knows she will never be part of that group of people (Royals).
She doesn’t have that blood (wasn’t born into fame or has family in the industry that has made it big) or belongs old money (postal codes – old money tend to live around the same areas i.e. Beverly hills).
So when she says she wants to be Queen Bee or Ruler, she is fantasizing about pop culture not being about what the Royals love (their materialistic lifestyles), she craves a different kind of buzz (doesn’t care much about money but just having a “good life without a care”) and will rule with that in mind.
It seems like she sings with such a longing to feel like she did when she was younger, a kid. She’s realizing that she’s not getting any younger, and it’s scary to think of all the responsibilities now.
I think there’s some contradictions too.
“This 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”
She obviously doesn’t want to get old her, and says she’s NEVER felt more alone.
“You’re the only friend I need
Sharing beds like little kids
Laughing ’til our ribs get tough
But that will never be enough”
Yet here, it seems like she’s trying to convince herself that the only person she needs is her (possible) significant other. But she can only think of how she felt towards them when they were kids (laughing, sharing beds). But then says it would never be enough. She doesn’t feel the same for them like she did before, and she doesn’t like she feels that way. In comes the part of convincing herself otherwise.
Kind of like involuntarily falling out of love for a person, and just focusing on the good times they had, and telling yourself it would get better, but knowing it won’t since getting older has changed her.
Supposedly, Lorde has said this is about her early years growing up in New Zealand. Seems to be summed up pretty well in:
“We live in cities you’ll never see on screen
Not very pretty but we sure know how to run free
Livin’ in ruins of the palace within my dreams
And you know we’re on each other’s team”
This implies some disconnect with the rest of the world, and a unity between everyone who experiences it. It makes a pretty logical foundation for themes in other songs, like Royals, where she sings about being confused and bored by the empty opulence that the world worships. Growing up she found fulfillment in other things.
In March 2017, the lead single from her second studio album Melodrama, “Green Light” was published to critical acclaim; multiple publications listed it as one of the year’s best albums, putting NME and The Guardian at the top of their respective lists. Its commercial success was modest, reaching number one in New Zealand, number four in Australia and number nine in Canada.
On Melodrama, as a songwriter, Lorde sought to demonstrate her maturity and integrated her post-breakup introspection. To universal critical acclaim, the album was released in June 2017; Metacritic placed it second on their list of 2017’s best-received albums based on inclusions in the year-end lists of publications, behind Kendrick Lamar’s Damn. It debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, giving Lorde her first number-one album on the chart, and on record charts of Australia, Canada and New Zealand.It earned a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year at the 60th ceremony.
Lorde’s analysis of becoming a young woman seeking her own belief in unstable situations is Melodrama. This often entails being single occasionally, but dating is just part of the album’s script. A divorce and a raucous house party act as thematic through-lines.Her true reward comes with her acceptance of self in the challenging, exhilarating path of the record, written mostly when Lorde was 18 and 19. Her peace is in knowing that she will, often, end up dancing on her own, as a wink to her clearest pop forbearer.
Lorde is talking about herself and her past relationships and what people have said to her presumably before ending a relationship with her: she’s too much to handle, she’s too wild, and this comes as no surprise when her newest love interest cuts ties with her, she’s heard it all before. This guy is breaking up with her for the same reason everyone does and she just has to learn how to love herself, which is the girl she sings about in the first verse; even if no one else loves her, she’ll always have herself.
“Green Light” is about those little moments in your life when you stumble out of a Chinese buffet and throw up on the sidewalk and get arrested and throw up in jail too and then someone bails you out but won’t give you a ride home because you stink like Chinese buffet vomit so you walk home and then see a cool bird outside the police station and you chase it up a streetlight and you get up there but the bird flies away so you’re stuck up there and you look at the traffic light dangling below you and then one of the lights is green and so is the shirt you’re wearing and you’re like, “Nice.”
The song is about a relationship being a party. But when the party is over and the breakup has happened there is a big question about what will the future be like – “But what will we do when we’re sober?”