Lorde Releases Solar Power Companion EP Sung In Māori Language
A few weeks ago, Lorde released her long-awaited new album Solar Power. Today, she followed the album with a companion-piece EP. For the new record Te Ao Mārama, Lorde re-recorded five Solar Power songs, including the title track and “Stoned At The Nail Salon,” in te reo Māori, the language of the indigenous people of Lorde’s New Zealand homeland.
Lorde is releasing Te Ao Mārama in conjunction with Te Wiki o Te Reo, a week that celebrates the Māori language. A few other New Zealand artists are doing something similar this week. Lorde isn’t Māori, but the Spinoff reports that she worked with Māori translators and guides to get the project right. In her newsletter, Lorde writes:
Many things revealed themselves slowly to me while I was making this album, but the main realisation by far was that much of my value system around caring for and listening to the natural world comes from traditional Māori principles. There’s a word for it in te reo: kaitiakitanga, meaning “guardianship or caregiving for the sky, sea and land.” I’m not Māori, but all New Zealanders grow up with elements of this worldview. Te ao Māori and tikanga Māori are a big part of why people who aren’t from here intuit our country to be kind of “magical,” I think. I know I’m someone who represents New Zealand globally in a way, and in making an album about where I’m from, it was important to me to be able to say: this makes us who we are down here. It’s also just a crazy beautiful language — I loved singing in it. Even if you don’t understand te reo, I think you’ll get a kick out of how elegant my words sound in it. Hana’s translations for “Te Ara Tika / The Path” and “Hine-i-te-Awatea / Oceanic Feeling” in particular take my g-d breath away.
You can stream the Te Ao Mārama EP below.