Review: Lorde Makes Long-Awaited Return With Sunny Summer Single “Solar Power”
Blink three times when you feel it kicking in. On June 10th, 2021, indie-pop princess Lorde released her first new song since 2017.
Titled “Solar Power”, the track is an introduction to a new chapter in the artist’s life and career, as she has announced that her third studio album is now well on its way. Ella Yelich O’Connor, the musical genius behind Lorde, has described this new record as “a celebration of the natural world, an attempt at immortalizing the deep, transcendent feelings I have when I’m outdoors. In times of heartache, grief, deep love, or confusion, I look to the natural world for answers. I’ve learned to breathe out, and tune in. This is what came through. I want this album to be your summer companion, the one you pump on the drive to the beach. The one that lingers on your skin like a tan as the months get cooler again.”
Just from that description alone, it seems as if this LP will be a far cry from the New Zealand native’s past work, moving past the coming-of-age angst of her debut “Pure Heroine” and the heartbreak with a house party setting of her sophomore effort “Melodrama.” While both of those records were absolutely incredible, it already feels like Lorde’s third album will be different, more mature, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
O’Connor has grown quite a bit since those first two records, dropping “Pure Heroine” when she was only 16 years old and “Melodrama” when she was 19. Her new music should feel different. While still very young at only 24 years old, eight years will change a person quite a bit, especially when the time that passes changes them from a teenage girl just getting started in music to a powerhouse of a woman with millions of fans, extensive touring experience, and multiple Grammy awards.
“Solar Power” helps to usher in this new era of Lorde perfectly. The song, lyrically and sonically, has a new attitude, with O’Connor sounding laid-back but not in a selfish or careless way. She sounds happy and free, like she has let go of the burdens that weighed her down on “Melodrama” and “Pure Heroine.”
The lyrics reflect this refreshed point of view as well, particularly on the chorus’s lines, “Forget all of thе tears that you've cried / It's ovеr / It's a new state of mind / Are you coming, my baby?” The rest of the lyrical content sees the singer coming alive during the summertime (“I hate the winter, can't stand the cold...But when the heat comes, something takes a hold”) and having fun with her friends (“No shirt, no shoes, only my features / My boy behind me, he's taking pictures / Lead the boys and girls onto the beaches / Come one, come all, I'll tell you my secrets / I'm kinda like a prettier Jesus”).
The comparison of Lorde to the Lord Jesus Christ is almost fitting, given that their names are only one letter apart, and they both help to guide groups of people, Jesus with His disciples and Lorde with her fans. Through these lyrics, it seems like she’s encouraging her listeners to move out of the darkness and step into the light, much like she is doing in her personal life and in her music, leaving the heartbreak of her earlier projects behind.
There are also themes of escapism present on the track, as O’Connor sings, “And I throw my cellular device in the water / Can you reach me? No, you can't.” Unplugging and making yourself happy is a perfect message to send for the summer and a welcome change from some of the artist’s gloomier moments.
Sonically, this track is warm-weather pop perfection, written and produced by Lorde and frequent collaborator Jack Antonoff of fun. and Bleachers. Additional vocals provided by her “most God-tier female vocalist friends” Clairo and Phoebe Bridgers complete the experience, making it the best song to kick off your hot girl summer with.
Lorde’s sunshine-soaked comeback single “Solar Power”, along with the rest of her catalog, is available to listen to wherever you stream music. You can support her by picking up some merch and you can stay updated on when her third album will be released by following her on Twitter @Lorde, Instagram @LordeMusic, and Facebook @Lorde.
If you’re loving the new track as much as I am, be sure to tweet me @JENSESSlON! For reviews of Lorde’s new music as it is released and a look back at her sophomore LP “Melodrama” later this month for its fourth birthday, the blog can be found on Instagram @StrawberrySkiesBlog, Twitter @StrawbSkiesBlog, and Facebook @StrawberrySkiesBlog.