With Solar PowerLorde comes out of her pop melancholy and summons everyone to the beach for a meditation session. A new album not so first degree as you might think …
She’s a far cry from the self-righteous teenager who made us wave on “Royals”. In less than ten years, Lorde has earned her place in the pantheon of our icons with her writing that comes from the guts and her broken generational hymns, like her voice, which always seems in the aftermath of a party. But, for the ex-idol of depressed teens and post-teens of the 2010s, the time is no longer for the disillusionment, after-parties and toxic relationships of “Perfect Places” or “Green Light”.
Ella – her town name – grew up. The proof in his third opus, Solar Power, released on August 20, where she summons the spirits of summer to the acoustic guitar. But don’t think the 25-year-old New Zealand singer gives sun salutations every morning while burning sandalwood to chase away bad vibes. Her world, like ours, is still as dark as ever, she just understood that she would have to live with it. And that it might be better to take it lightly.
On “Mood Ring”, you try to convince yourself that you can get better thanks to astrology, “mood rings”, crystals, sage … We didn’t know you so teasing!
Lorde : It’s true ! Making this record, I felt really light and casual, and there are several moments in the album where I even allowed myself to be ironic. It seems to amaze the public and the journalists a lot, how funny I can be!
Of course, if you expect sad ballads like “Writer in the dark” or “Liability”, this may not be the right record …
Oh ! (She pretends to be upset.) There are still moments of deep introspection and vulnerability. Afterwards, it’s true that I was in such a bright state of mind … But I still got naked … I put everything on the table!
You quit social media for a long time, is that the secret to happiness?
It’s possible. I found it really refreshing. I felt like I found something that I didn’t know I had lost.
I think that’s the case for a lot of people …
Yes ! When I say “Can you reach me? No you can not !” in “Solar Power”, it’s almost sexy because precisely I wanted to make disconnecting cool. And I think more and more people are going to do it. After this year of the pandemic, everyone is starting to realize that social media is a danger to mental health.
“You have to know how to rediscover the feeling of being a loser, otherwise you end up taking yourself for God, and you have nothing more to say! ”
What about fame? You say that the world of pop stars is “ridiculous”, “excessive” and very focused on appearance. Don’t you like being a pop star?
I like being a pop star, but because I set limits on myself. I’m a pop star for one year, while the album is being promoted, touring, and then I go home to New Zealand and I’m not a pop star for three years. I only take the good sides!
Can you have a normal life there?
New Zealanders don’t give a damn about me now. In Auckland, I’m the famous girl they met on the street once, and voila. There are no paparazzi, and I don’t feel any pressure when I go somewhere. In the United States, it’s different. I have to think about everything when I leave a hotel.
Have you never wanted in this life? Even when you released “Royals”? All teens dream of being a star …
I do not believe. Obviously, I grew up in pop, and, after the fact, I realize that it influenced me a lot, but at the beginning I was not even aware of doing it. When I was younger, I really liked indie music. I was a bit of a snob, I never turned on the radio. I wasn’t one of those girls who wanted to be famous, or even go on stage. I wanted to be an author, and I was pretty sure no one would ever see my face.
Your lyrics have played a big part in your success. You became, at 16, the voice of a generation. It’s hard to become an adult after hearing thousands of people say “My God, what she says is my life” ?
Above all, you have to be careful not to believe them! I always saw myself as a work in progress. An imperfect person. It’s something you can lose when you have people dressing you, makeup, flattering you every day. But none of this is true. You have to know how to rediscover the feeling of being a loser, otherwise you end up taking yourself for God, and you have nothing more to say! (Laughs.)
Do you consider yourself a dark person?
I do not believe. Rather, I feel like I’m constantly questioning the world. And, sometimes, dark questions lead to even more so! But I have never felt so good as in the past few years.
It feels! Maybe it’s this path, this transformation, that makes you an icon for a lot of queer people …
This is what a gay friend told me who was trying to figure out why so many LGBTQI + people liked Melodrama. There is something like an outbreak, he says, that LGBTQI + people can relate to. I don’t know if it’s true but, anyway, it was one of the nicest surprises of my career.
LGBTQI + rights, racism, feminism … More and more artists are making their voices heard on political issues. You, you seem more discreet about your convictions …
I have very strong political opinions. But, in recent years, I have the impression that the positions taken by personalities may have had a somewhat counterproductive effect. I wouldn’t like to be the singer who tells people what to think or who to vote for when she lives like a princess. But there are things that I have never held back from speaking out, like the rights of LGBTQI + people or the fight against racism. These topics, like climate change, are not politics. These are obvious.