Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Girl A-Lorde

If you read the international music press, you can’t help but notice the fuss being made over New Zealand's Ella Yelich-O'Connor – aka Lorde. (That's her above, in the middle of a staring contest). Here's what they have been saying.

"This year's queen of summer radio," says Vogue.

"She’s a talented teenage badass," says Vice.

"Lorde is the first lead solo female to crown Billboard's Alternative chart in more than 17 years," announces Billboard.

"Just a regular teenager from New Zealand," says the New York Times, underselling it a bit.

"Lorde have mercy," quips Perez Hilton tiresomely (ok, I wish I'd thought of it first).

Lorde’s big single is called Royals. It's sparse and supple, the minimal production highlighting the 16-year-old’s gorgeous, multi-tracked harmonies. The lyrics take a pop at the materialism of modern pop ("we’ll never be Royals – that kind of lux just ain’t for us") but, bizarrely, the title was inspired by a sports photograph.

"I had this image from the National Geographic of this dude just signing baseballs," Lorde told VH1 earlier this week.

"He was a baseball player and his shirt said, ‘Royals.’ It was just that word. It’s really cool." (Presumably the man in the photo was a player for the Kansas City Royals, rather than Frederik, Crown Prince of Denmark, putting aside his constitutional duties to attend the annual European Royal Family egg and spoon race).

Anyway, the song is tremendous. Unusual and catchy in the way that debut singles should be. People have called it this year’s Gotye – but Lorde has a couple of other big songs up her sleeve, too. Check out Tennis Court and tell me I’m wrong.

Royals isn’t out in the UK until 20 October – but you can listen to it now. As well as a clutch of terrific remixes from The Weeknd (moody) and Wild Boyz! (dubsteppy). Enjoy.

Lorde - Royals

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