Lorde returns with her first new song in four years, the ‘flirtatious’ ‘Solar Power’
Lorde is back, and she is not worried about a sunburn.
Just in time for 2020’s first solar eclipse, the 24-year-old pop star from New Zealand released her feverishly awaited new single, “Solar Power,” on Thursday — the first sampling (or “first of the rays,” as she calls it) from an upcoming album by the same title.
“Solar Power” the song — which arrives four years after Lorde’s last LP, 2017’s Grammy-nominated “Melodrama” — is “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…),” the singer wrote in an email to her fans.
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Co-written and co-produced by Lorde and Jack Antonoff (Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey), “Solar Power” finds Lorde urging listeners to “forget all of the tears that you’ve cried” over a shuffling, blissed-out groove that strongly recalls “Movin’ on Up” by the Scottish dance-rock band Primal Scream; Lorde goes on to compare her cheeks to “overripe peaches,” which she rhymes with a promise to “lead the boys and girls onto the beaches.” Indeed, in the song’s video, which she says she shot “with friends here in New Zealand,” she wears a brightly colored bikini top and matching skirt to frolic waterside with a bunch of pals.
Emotionally, “Solar Power” registers as a shift from the gloomier material that made Lorde a teenage star; sonically it’s different too, with acoustic textures in place of the whooshing synths and hip-hop beats that defined songs like “Green Light” and the Billboard Hot 100-topping “Royals.”
According to credits on the streaming platform Tidal, “Solar Power” features backing vocals by Phoebe Bridgers and Clairo and drums by Matt Chamberlain, who’s played with dozens of artists including Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Fiona Apple.
In her email, Lorde described her album — for which she didn’t specify a release date — as “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.”
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