PURE HEROINE, UNIVERSAL MUSIC CANADA
Without a doubt, Lorde is this generation’s Woody Guthrie.
Just kidding. She’s a pretty young girl who’s been signed since she was in grade school, but she has a unique streak in her. The Guthrie comparison comes because in this pop wasteland of indulgence and airbrushed sex, Lorde appears as a lyrical saviour.
Ella Yelich-O’Connor, known as Lorde, is vying for this year’s crown for the most socially reflective lyrics in pop music. While it could be easier to write off hit single, “Royals,” as a manipulative ploy to promote the counterculture of wealth, similar to Avril’s “Sk8er Boi,” her age and her roots make her words genuine. And Lorde doesn’t keep her socially scathing lyrics for just her singles: they are sprinkled like fertilizer over the coming-of-age qualms that make up the majority of her album. This worldly perspective is developing from what could be seen as Twilight-esque teenage angst, mutating into a Catcher in the Rye path to adulthood in tracks like “Buzzcut Season” and “A World Alone.”
It’s worth mentioning Pure Heroine’s lyrical content beyond the singles first because, unless you’ve been fighting for freedom in the mountains of Tibet for the last four months, you’ve already heard Lorde’s unbelievable voice on the track “Royals” somewhere. It’s effortless, self-assured and instantly recognizable. She sounds like she was born to do this and I’m sure that’s exactly what Universal Music thought when they signed her at age 12. Working with Joel Little since 2011, Ella found the Lorde “sound” with complex and soaring harmonies over laid-back and spacious hip-hop beats. The production and sound quality of Pure Heroine is phenomenal, but what makes Lorde that pop music saviour is her lyrics. I hope time, money and a jet-set lifestyle don’t corrupt this refreshing, new breath.
By Sean Hamilton