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24 lessons learnt from Lorde's new album 'Solar Power'.

24 lessons learnt from Lorde's new album 'Solar Power'.

"Let’s hope the sun will show us the path," entreats Lorde in 'Solar Power' album opener, 'The Path', tipping her hat to the main theme of her new iridescent body of work.

In an email newsletter to fans back in June, Lorde said: "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."

Once it's midnight where you are, hit play on Lorde's new album, then leisurely digest the below fact sheet we have compiled for you...

1. She wrote both the ruminative opener 'The Path' and the optimistic closer 'Oceanic Feeling' alone in New Zealand.

2. Lorde considers the lyrics, "Now if you’re looking for a saviour, well that’s not me," in 'The Path' as an important mission statement to begin the album with. "There’s a lot of trust and faith and reverence based on people in my position, and more so than ever I think I realised that you cannot look to me for the answers. We should all be looking to the sun, the ocean, nature," she explains of the powerful sentiment.

This follows Lorde's words last year supporting the Black Lives Matter movement:
"One of the things I find most frustrating about social media is performative activism, predominantly by white celebrities (like me). It’s hard to strike a balance between self-serving social media displays and true action. But part of being an ally is knowing when to speak and when to listen, and I know that white silence right now is more damaging than someone’s wack protest selfie. So let me be clear: this ongoing systemic brutality by police is racist, it’s sickening, and it’s unsurprising... I’m still learning the nuances of all this. I’m still working out how to practise activism while refraining from social media. Numbers at protests and mass gatherings speak loudly, hopefully lead to eventual legislative change, so I do that. Money helps concretely, paying things like bail funds to free unjustly held activists, so I do that. I don’t feel completely comfortable posting donation links asking you for money - I don’t know what kind of financial situation you’re in right now. It’s on me to use my resources — resources you gave me, directly or indirectly — to donate on your behalf."

3. The autobiographical 'California' was the very first song she worked on for this album. Rejecting the Californian Dream, Lorde ends the contemplative song asking to wake up.

4. Clairo and Phoebe Bridgers sing sweet backing vocals on six songs: 'The Path', 'Solar Power', 'Stoned At The Nail Salon', 'Fallen Fruit', 'Leader Of A New Regime', and 'Mood Ring'.

5. Lorde says of the backing vocals help from friends on 'Stoned At The Nail Salon' that: "There are some beautiful singers on this whole album with me, but you really hear them on this song. Marlon Williams, James Milne of Lawrence Arabia, Phoebe Bridgers and Clairo. It was such a cool foursome to me hearing their voices. The girls in particular, I love their work with harmonies and had wanted to sing with them both for a long time and have since featured on a Clairo song so it’s nice to build out the family a little bit."

Earlier this year, Lorde told Zane Lowe that: "I love those girls so much. They killed it on the song. I was like, who are my most God-tier female vocalist friends that could be on this. And they both just crushed. It was such a pleasure for me to have them. So talented, so cool, and I've never had any other voices on my songs. This is the first, first time people were singing with me. I just knew it had to be a gang. You know, I've got a couple of amazing male musicians on it as well from New Zealand, James Milne [Lawrence Arabia] and Marlon Williams. And I just, yeah, it was like this record more than any that I've made, isn't just about me, it's my friends and my family and my country. And I knew the sentiments were not just mine alone to deliver. So yeah, it's really everything I hoped it would be in terms of having other people on it. It's fun not to be alone. Finally."

6. Robyn has a spoken word feature at the end of 'Secrets From A Girl (Who's Seen It All)' and Lorde describes her part as "playing a surreal flight attendant".

Welcome to Sadness
The temperature is unbearable until you face it
Thank you for flying with Strange Airlines
I will be your tour guide today
Your emotional baggage can be picked up at Carousel #2
Please be careful so that it doesn’t fall onto someone you love
When we’ve reached your final destination, I will leave you to it
You’ll be fine
I’m just gonna show you in, and you can stay as long as you need to get familiar with the feeling
And then when you’re ready, I’ll be outside, and we can go look at the sunrise by euphoria mixed with existential vertigo?

7. 'Oceanic Feeling' is inspired by New Zealand, her family, the past and the future. Lorde says the shimmery ode is one of her favourite songs she's ever written.

8. 'Big Star' is about her dog Pearl, who sadly passed away. "I just wanted to say how much I loved him and how simple it was. There’s a certain feeling when you really love someone and I’m sure a lot of people have this about their kids – my dog was like a celebrity to me. I saw him and I felt that feeling that people feel probably looking at their child or they look at someone they really adore and look up to. He was like a star to me, and I just wanted to take his photo all the time and to look at him."

9. Malay, who she worked on 'Melodrama' with, wrote on 'Leader Of The New Regime’ and 'The Man With The Axe'.

10. 'Mood Ring' was inspired by 60s Flower Child culture, and the cultural parallels between then and now - wellness, spirituality, crystals, tarot cards, horoscopes, and macro-biotic vegan diets.

11. She wrote 'Secrets From A Girl (Who’s Seen It All)' while listening to 'Ribs'... "It’s a song that I wrote talking to my past self, sort of trying to impart the wisdom that I’ve learnt along the way. I was listening to ‘Ribs’, which is a little weird of me, but I was, and just thinking about who I was at that time of life. I was so apprehensive about what was to come and about growing up and there was so much I didn’t know. I took two of the chords from that song, reversed them, and this is future me talking back to her sort of saying, 'It’s going to be okay.'"

12. 'Fallen Fruit' addresses her parent's generation and their environmental failures, resulting in the current climate crisis. She declares about the inspiration behind the song, "It’s the fight that will define our lifetime."

13. About the bridge of 'Fallen Fruit', Lorde shares: "I like that bridge in the middle of that song. I don’t write many bridges anymore; I don’t know why. I’m just not good at them. Taylor is so good at them; we do talk about it. I’m like 'How are you so good at bridges?' By the time I get to that point in the song I’m like, 'Argh! I’ve got nothing else to say.'"

14. Matt Chamberlain, who drummed on Fiona Apple's 'Tidal' album, was responsible for drums on this album.
15. She wanted 'Leader Of The New Regime' to sound like Crosby, Stills and Nash.

16. A Fender Jaguar was the guitar that was used on the whole album.

17. Jack Antonoff contributes backing vocals to 'Dominoes'.

On what it's like to have Jack Antonoff as a collaborator, Lorde has said to Zane Lowe: "Yeah, he's an incredible collaborator. He's down for any idea. And when I came to him about this album, I was like, look, I have this crazy vision. We're going to have all these organic instruments. You're going to play a shitload of guitar and we're going to see what happens. And he was like, 'Cool, okay, sounds good.' And we just had the best time. He just, he's down for whatever, I love that about him."

18. Lorde describes ‘Dominoes’ as a "weird little noodley moment"... "You can hear the outside coming in. You can hear a lot of sirens because there were a ton of protests that Summer, and I like that it sounds like how that Summer sounded - kind of hot and sweaty, you can hear birds and you can hear sirens. I’m going to let it speak for itself, but I like how it’s a live take. It just feels kind of loose and natural."

19. Bleachers multi-instrumentalist Evan Smith plays saxophone and flute on 'The Path', 'California', 'Fallen Fruit', and 'Oceanic Feeling'.

20. She refers to Carole King awarding her a Grammy in 'Calforina' when she sings, "Once upon a time in Hollywood when Carole called my name."

21. Lorde reworks in 'Big Star' the "every perfect summer" lyric from 'Liability' ("But every perfect summer's eating me alive until you're gone / Better on my own") singing: "Every perfect summer’s got to say goodnight, now I watch you run through the amber light."

She says: "I really love building in those little links and connections between past eras, and I try to be really careful and intentional with how I use language in songs."


A post shared by Lorde (@lorde)

22. Marlon Williams can be heard in the outro of 'Oceanic Feeling', and adds backing vocals to 'The Path', 'Stoned At The Nail Salon', 'Fallen Fruit', and 'Leader Of A New Regime'.

Back in April, Lorde performed a surprise duet with Marlon:

23. What's your song?

24. And I don't know who needs to hear this, but 'Secrets From A Girl (Who's Seen It All)' bestows upon you some very important life advice: "Your dreams and inner visions, all your mystical ambitions / They won’t let you down / Do your best to trust all the rays of light / Everybody wants the best for you / But you gotta want it for yourself / My love."

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