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Sixteen-year-old New Zealand musician Ella Yelchin-O’ Connor, better known by her stage name “Lord,” has been making waves in the music industry for months now. Before she even had the chance to officially release any material she was signed by Universal Records, which prompted the release of her debut EP The Love Club on March 8, 2013. The single “Royals” almost immediately topped the charts in New Zealand, the U.S., and the U.K. The EP as a whole has been certified platinum in Australia and Gold in New Zealand with little to no promotion outside of word of mouth. In August, Lorde became the first woman since 1996 to hit the top of the Alternative charts in the U.S.
Her style takes the dirty glam alto of Lana Del Rey and mixes it with the theatrical harmonies of Fun. Creating a vast and catchy sound that you might find on both a Top 20 radio station and a hipster Spotify playlist.
Lyrically Lorde does not shy away from the common youthful subjects often heard from artists of similar ages. However, these subjects are delivered in an artistic, sometimes fantastical manner. She stems from her mother who often wrote poetry. In interviews she mentions having started writing songs that were more like stories or poems around the age of 12 or 13. By 14 she had picked up the guitar and was writing many of the songs you can hear her perform on stage today. Most of the songs on The Love Club are constructed almost entirely from acapella layering, a feat not often found on a typical pop album. Subtle quirks like these are throughout the few songs we have been given so far and help set a minimalist kind of atmosphere.
Upon being signed to Universal Records, Lorde released the songs she had already set in stone on The Love Club and then immediately began working on a full length release titled Pure Heroine. In interviews she has mentioned how she wants her album to be cohesive with itself, not having the obvious singles or standalone tracks but rather telling a larger story as a whole. In a time when singles easily outsell albums, these sentiments made Universal Records cringe. However, the so called anti-industry, overly artistic musicians of today like Lady Gaga also tend to be the ones who top the charts. So it should come as only a slight surprise that when Lorde released her first single from Pure Heroine titled, “Tennis Court”, it immediately entered charts all over the world with strong positions and hit number one in New Zealand, which made her the first artist to simultaneously have four songs in the top 20 tracks of the country.
Lorde is currently gearing up to headline a few shows throughout the U.S. toward the end of September. Her upcoming LP Pure Heroine is set to be released on September 30. Fans and critics alike are in anticipation as to what direction this young talent will go.