Lorde – “Solar Power”
Lorde has returned. After revealing its revealing cover art earlier this week, the New Zealand pop star has released her first new single since 2017’s Melodrama. It’s called “Solar Power” and was co-produced by Jack Antonoff. Phoebe Bridgers and Clairo sing backup vocals on the track. Matt Chamberlain plays drums. Solar Power is also the name of her upcoming third album.
“The album is a celebration of the natural world, an attempt at immortalising the deep, transcendent feelings I have when I’m outdoors,” Lorde wrote in her newsletter. “In times of heartache, grief, deep love, or confusion, I look to the natural world for answers. I’ve learnt to breathe out, and tune in. This is what came through.”
Over in our Week In Pop column this past week, we ran down everything she’s done since wrapping up the tour for her sophomore album — it amounts to not much! But she’s coming back to a pop mainstream that has been remade in her own image.
Watch a “Solar Power” music video directed by Joel Kefali and Lorde below.
Here’s the full email Lorde sent via her newsletter:
There’s someone I want you to meet. Her feet are bare at all times. She’s sexy, playful, feral, and free. She’s a modern girl in a deadstock bikini, in touch with her past and her future, vibrating at the highest level when summer comes around. Her skin is glowing, her lovers are many. I’m completely obsessed with her, and soon you will be too.
It’s my divine pleasure to be introducing you, at long last, to my third studio album, SOLAR POWER.
The album is a celebration of the natural world, an attempt at immortalising the deep, transcendent feelings I have when I’m outdoors. In times of heartache, grief, deep love, or confusion, I look to the natural world for answers. I’ve learnt to breathe out, and tune in. This is what came through.
The first song, also called SOLAR POWER and written and produced by myself and Jack, is the first of the rays. It’s about that infectious, flirtatious summer energy that takes hold of us all, come June (or December, if you’re a Southern Hemisphere baby like me but I know that’s literally IMPOSSIBLE for you all to wrap your little heads around so don’t worry about it!!).
I made everything with friends here in New Zealand. My best mate Ophelia took the cover photo, lying on the sand as I leapt over her, both of us laughing. The director who made my first ever music video, Joel, helped me create the videos, building an entire cinematic universe that I can’t wait for you to see. I made something that encapsulates where I’m from — my family, my girlfriends, my outdoors, my constant ruminations, and my unending search for the divine.
There’s SO much more detail to come — a truly comical amount of detail, honestly. You can look to the natural calendar for clues. I’m trying to listen to what’s out there more, and the vibe I got was that you’re ready for this, that you need it. I want this album to be your summer companion, the one you pump on the drive to the beach. The one that lingers on your skin like a tan as the months get cooler again.
Today’s the only solar eclipse of the year, did you know that? Feels right.
Lorde also gave an interview to Triple J where she talked more about the album. “Every song on the album, I did say it has to sound like the sun, and this one in a big way,” she said. “It sounds like the beach, the waves, the girls lying on the beach. I really wanted it to have that vibe. The guitars, the drums – everything’s so sunny.”
She also said she’s seen some of the reactions to the “Solar Power” artwork: “It’s a specific experience thinking about everyone in your life seeing your butt. I have no regrets. I love this cover and happy for this to be how people see my butt. I was sent a couple of memes. They were very funny, I liked them. I’m so out of touch with meme culture but I’m down. All the memes!”