In early March 2017, Kiwi singer and song-writer Lorde released “Green Light,” the leading single from her album Melodrama. The song left Lorde’s fans baffled: it was incredibly different from what they knew and expected.
Three years before this, 16-year-old Lorde entered the international pop scene and established herself as the “anti-pop queen” with lyrics that critiqued the world and electronic production that went against current styles. She attracted fans that identified with her music and overall dark image.
But “Green Light” was different. It was full of color. It wasn’t about the alienating world—it was about Lorde and her desire to cut loose and be free. This idea is something she focuses on in her album Melodrama, which was written during a tumultuous break-up. She captures the aftermath of a break-up as well as her journey of discovering her own identity, navigating the world as an individual and learning to love and care for yourself.
Lorde on her Melodrama Tour. Photo credit: Sophia Joy Blog
The wonderful quality of this album is that these themes are something that we all face and struggle with. Self-love is a process—one that is so incredibly hard, but the way Lorde explores this process generates resilience and hope to the listener. It’s not in a very in-your-face kind of way, it’s subtle and gentle; you’re almost eased into this. It’s warm and comforting.
The production on this album is also something that left older Lorde fans aback. Her first album Pure Heroine was musically dark with a focus on bass, percussion, and electronically produced sounds. Melodrama takes a 180 in this respect, with the album being rooted in acoustic instruments. This album has a more natural sound. It takes inspiration from indie, pop and electronic sounds, but rests comfortably elsewhere—in a space it’s carved for itself. The music isn’t trying to fit in anywhere, it’s just trying to be itself.
Lorde at the 2018 Grammy Awards. Photo credit: Vogue
Melodrama by Lorde was nominated for “Album of the Year” at the 60th Grammy Awards. It did not win but left a mark on the world that no award could amount to.
The album poses as a soundtrack for fans around the world, complimenting moments of loneliness, melancholia, and growth. It’s anthemic for the emotional and sensitive. It’s the album to hold your hand and lift you up.