Taking over the pop world is something that a lot of 16 year old girls would dare to imagine. Few take the steps to realising such a pipedream, and even fewer reach stardom. However one such girl from Auckland is on a rocket ride to pop superstardom. Ella Yelich-O’Connor AKA Lorde’s stunning debut EP is sure to get the tongues of record label execs wagging and having already seen her sell out shows across Australia only days after going on sale, it seems only the sky is the limit for this pop starlet.
As the haunting, a 2001 – A Space Oddysey-like intro to opener Bravado makes way to equally haunting chants, thus beginning a tour de force of wondrous pop and clever lyricism that has seen her compared to Grimes and Kimbra, just to name a few. Warm soft drums mingle their way into the fray delicately, as her vocals rise and fall with the melody, it’s an understanding of the music that belies her age.
Listeners may be familiar with already-on-high-rotation Royals, whose minimal approach to the melody draws more attention to her voice, which is of course inescapably perfect. Dreamy pop never sounded so great.
A nod to more of a hip-hop leaning, Million Dollar Bills is a joyous and playful reminder of how good hip-hop can be, where Azaelia Banks would be green with envy at the ease of the delivery and the pop sensibilities that it maintains.
The Love Club is another blissful pop experience, with its groovy interplay, is bound for playful exchanges in the live setting. The rise of Lily Allen is a comparable example of what Lorde brings to the table with this EP. As Smile once did for Allen, any number of cuts off this EP could launch Lorde into the same ballpark.
The darker Biting Down closes out this short but sweet listening experience, much like Beth Gibbons would deliver in the best of Portishead’s back catalogue. Truth be told, it’s almost scary what lies in store for Lorde. As Mitch Martin from the film Old School once said bewilderingly whilst choking on his own saliva, “I thought you said High School!”, as his boss replies “Shocking isn’t it?”.
Yes. Yes it is.
By Dean Forte