With her hit single “Royals,” 16-year-old New Zealand singer Ella Yelich-O’Connor a/k/a Lorde has become to first solo female to top Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart in over 17 years. The last female musician to top this chart was Tracy Bonham in June 1996, with “Mother Mother.” As Billboard points out, only 10 number one songs in total have been by solo female artists.
Below, watch the video for “Royals” and check out Lorde’s most recent single, “Team,” from her upcoming full-length Pure Heroine out 9/30 via Lava/Republic. They’re both super addictive, and both balance a sort of vaguely anti-materialism mindset with commentary on mainstream pop music. “Every song’s like, gold teeth, Grey Goose, tripping in the bathroom, bloodstains, ball gowns, trashing the hotel room,” she sings on “Royals,” later clarifying: “We’ll never be royals / It don’t run in our blood … That kind of lux just ain’t for us.”
And on “Team” she sings, ” I’m kind of over getting told to throw my hands up in the air / I’m kinda older than I was when I reveled without a care.” She explained this to Fader: “There’s been so much of that in pop music, and I’m like, this is the stupidest thing,” Lorde said. “Being told to put your hands in the air? That’s the last thing I wanna do right now. I just wanted to be a bit more realistic.”