To say that people have been waiting for Lorde’s comeback would be like saying that people who are stranded in the desert “look forward” to drinking water. Fans are elated they survived the drought.
But a few unanticipated curveballs were thrown at eager listeners in the past 24 hours. First, Apple Music and Tidal accidentally leaked her third album’s lead single “Solar Power” on June 10 by posting it ahead of schedule (it was originally expected to drop June 21). Both streaming services swiftly removed it minutes later, but given that the damage had already been done, Lorde decided to go ahead and release the song and its music video.
The release came with another surprise: The track is not what you’d expect from the New Zealand pop star. Instead of synths leading a tight, clean pop production, it’s very laid back and almost Jack Johnson-esque. “Well, it was so new for me, as you know, I spent my entire teens and early twenties kind of tightening snares, tightening high hats, getting everything as, you know, sterile as I could,” Lorde told Apple Music 1’s Zane Lowe. “And this was the complete opposite approach. I’d had a couple of incredible summers. I was like, the sound is for it to be raw and misty and feral, you know, real drums, stereo bass, like just lean into it.”
The music video is something out of a Midsommar-themed yoga retreat, complete with earth-toned linens, interpretive dancing, and fennel bongs. Lorde even said that she “sampled cicadas” for it, as she “really wanted to capture there’s something so specific about the New Zealand summer.” It’s delightfully unhinged, and as expected, the internet is having a field day with it. Some are calling it a pharmaceutical commercial; others have deemed it a bonus clip from Mamma Mia, if George Michael produced it.
It seems this year’s Shot Girl Summer has all kinds of interpretations.
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