CMU Approved

Approved 2017: Lorde

By | Published on Monday 18 December 2017


Every day this week, we’ll be looking at the last twelve months for one of our favourite artists of 2017. First, Lorde…

Back in 2013, the sixteen year old Ella Yelich-O’Connor was hyped to what felt like the point of oblivion from the release of her debut single as Lorde onwards. It seemed unlikely that her debut album, ‘Pure Heroine’, could live up to all those expectations. Somehow though, Lorde rode the wave that she had been placed upon, came down without a wobble on the other side and strode off into the sunset.

Resisting what must have been the huge pressure to make a quick return, she took her time on a follow-up, going back to New Zealand and living something as close as possible to a normal life for a while, aside from very occasionally re-emerging into public life for an occasional show here or the odd track there.

Far from rushing, she worked slowly and methodically on her new music. And, far from this being a ‘difficult second album’, during her appearance on ‘Song Exploder’ to discuss the creation of the song ‘Sober’, she seemed to really relish working on the new material, taking that particular track to different producers so to tap a range of skills in order to realise her vision for the song. And at no point does it seem like there was an inclination to simply get some marketable names on her album credits.

When she eventually returned with that new music, the single ‘Green Light’, she was welcomed back like an old friend, any ‘Lorde fatigue’ people must have been experiencing as a result of all the aforementioned hype a few years earlier having apparently all worn off by now. The subsequent album, ‘Melodrama’, clearly benefitted from having developed slowly, and from the unifying creative direction of Lorde herself.

That vision also extended to the live shows, in particular her performances at the Coachella and Glastonbury festivals. At both, she opened the show in front of a glass box, eventually moving inside it, as it filled with dancers who played out a house party narrative throughout the set. It was a truly innovative performance and further marked Lorde out as a special kind of pop star.

Watch the video for ‘Green Light’ here:

Listen to (almost) ever artist featured in the CMU Approved column in 2017 on this Spotify playlist.