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There is an old saying that goes, “They who are wise when they are young will be fools when they become old.Lorde certainly had the world figured out when she was writing poetic songs like ‘Royals‘ in 2012. In 2021 she now claims to be a better-looking version of Jesus Christ. Let’s take a closer look at what is going on here.

What is ‘Solar Power’ about?

What is ‘Solar Power‘ about? Lorde suggests it was written about summer energy. The single, along with her long-awaited third album will be showing a brighter side of her personality. “She’s sexy, playful, feral, and free,” Lorde shares. “She’s a modern girl in a deadstock bikini, in touch with her past and her future, vibrating at the highest level when summer comes around. Her skin is glowing, her lovers are many. I’m completely obsessed with her, and soon you will be too.”

A key theme here is spiritual bliss. In the song’s music video Lorde wears a yellow dress. Yellow is the color of the sun, optimism, energy, joy, happiness, and friendship. It also represents power and immortality.

Adding to all this, ‘Solar Power’ is an answer song to the hit single ‘Green Light’. Wearing this yellow dress Lorde walks around a beach, suggesting she has come out of the dark ocean of inner turmoil caused by the catastrophic breakup of Melodrama (with the “big liar” from ‘Green Light‘ who deceived women about liking the beach) and is connecting with the world at large. The video ends with Lorde climbing on a raft and drifting back into the ocean, perhaps revealing her third album will have darker turns in store.

A Lorde Solar Power promotional image.
Lorde poses for a Solar Power promotional image.

Lorde embraces a new state of mind

This feels like an escapist fantasy when most of the world has spent a year stuck inside their homes. Having left the world waiting for a follow-up to pop culture cornerstones Pure Heroine and Melodrama, it is clear Lorde seeks to bring a little more warmth and light into the world. As Taylor Swift shared last year, artists looking to honestly express themselves in their music cannot go on writing breakup songs forever.

What is more, the critical and commercial success of Swift’s Evermore and Folklore albums are proof it can be done. This makes it understandable Lorde too would want to reinvent herself. An artist’s public image, after all, is rarely a true reflection of their authentic selves. It takes a lot of courage, not to mention risking a career, to go “off-brand” and show the world who you really are.

Lorde’s deeply introspective and self-focused nature, alongside her poetic leanings, served her incredibly well with the heartbroken image of a beauty icon. What worked so effectively in creating her era-defining breakup songs, may not translate as well to the living-her-best-life sun god vibrations of ‘Solar Power’. Despite Lorde’s enormous cultural influence, not even she, after all, is capable of pushing humankind into the dawning of an Aquarian age. In this sense, her new single somewhat murky in its direction. Lorde has often liked to cast herself as a spiritual successor to great pop eccentrics such as Kate Bush though she may actually be closer to a straight-shooting singer-songwriter than a conceptual artist.

Lorde 'Solar Power' Cover
Lorde on the cover of ‘Solar Power’.

Blinded by the light

Lorde’s emotional devastation spoke to a generation. Her happiness may be more narrow in its appeal. A creeping feeling sits over ‘Solar Power’. In 2012 Lorde was not caught up in the love affair of material gain and postcode envy of pop stardom. Perhaps the heat of fame has evaporated some of the wise-beyond-years perspectives of Pure Heroine. Temporarily, we can only hope.

A Solar Power promotional image.

A ‘Solar Power’ promotional image.

  • Lorde 'Solar Power'
The Good

Moving on

Ambitious shift in tone

No more drama

The Bad

Will it take?

Lacks pathos

No more drama

Riley Fitzgerald

Creative Director

Riley Fitzgerald is Managing Editor and Creative Director of The Glitter & Gold.

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The Glitter and Gold is a digital magazine and record store in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane.
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