I Miss Lorde

I’m not one for cliché New Year’s resolutions. Rather, I prefer my notes app to be filled to the brim with a conglomeration of three-item-long grocery lists, miscellaneous misspelled two a.m. thoughts, and half-finished makings of poems. This year, I chose to break out of my routine and jot down a clumsy list of vague goals and wishes for 2021, in hopes of manifesting a better year than last. In a true-to-self fashion, these aren’t quite “resolutions” per se; “normalize skipping” and “a new Lorde album” adorn the top of my list. While I could talk about how skipping is one of the most effective forms of transportation for days, I’m choosing to focus on the latter.  

I was a junior in high school the last time Lorde released an album. With ill-cut bangs and stubborn baby fat clinging to my face, I barely recognize pictures of myself. Lacking self-assurance and confidence, I held tightly to music as a means of escaping my mundane routine, with Melodrama being my album of choice for the majority of the year. If I close my eyes, I can still picture myself at sixteen walking across campus from honors Chemistry to AP United States History with my headphones lodged securely in my ears and “Perfect Places” drowning out the sounds of gossip filling the hallways. Newly licensed, I’d press my foot just a little bit firmer on the gas pedal every time the opening lines of “Green Light” burst through my 2004 Toyota Camry’s speakers. When I lost a long-time best friend, “Liability” was the only song I listened to for months. Filled with classic teenage angst, Melodrama was a support system for me, something I could turn on whenever I needed a reprieve from the misery of high school or to simply scream my lungs out on drives home from a long day of babysitting.  

looking out window wearing headphones Photo by Matthew Henry from Burst/Shopify While it took longer for me to grow into the more subdued sounds of Lorde’s 2013 debut album, Pure Heroine reminds me of my last summer before college, filled with hot, lazy, seemingly endless days. All I wanted to do was move away as quickly as possible but, at the same time, I caught myself gripping tightly to the life I was accustomed to, with my family five feet away and a community filled with people I had known since I was born. This dichotomous feeling was perfectly reflected in songs like “The Love Club,” with the lyric “My mother’s love is choking me.” When my best friend of eighteen years moved away to college a month before I was set to depart, the lyrics “You’re the only friend I need” and “It feels so scary getting old” in “Ribs” felt like they were written specifically about my life at that exact moment.  

It’s now been four years since new music from Lorde. I’m in my second year of college and turning twenty in two months, which admittedly brings upon a wave of nausea. I feel like I was turning nineteen three days ago, an age I had been looking forward to since 2017 brought me the lyric “I’m nineteen and I’m on fire.” I’m apprehensive about entering a new decade of my life, and I’m ready for another coming-of-age soundtrack to play in my ears as I bike around Davis as a newly-minted twenty-year-old; one that accurately reflects my new landscape of emotions.  

Basically, all I want for 2021 is a new Lorde album. Thanks to her tendency to keep in touch via periodic emails, I know there is indeed a possibility of new music from her and I can’t wait to be able to metaphorically hold her hand as I step into yet another pivotal stage in my life.    Orange LED sign that says Photo by Mohammad Metri from Unsplash