Seventeen year old Lorde
is probably one of the year's most covered artists. Everyone from Bruce Springsteen
to Mayor Hawthorne to Black Simon & Garfunkel
. Look, not every cover of "Royals"
can be gold. Lorde has a much better track record when it comes to covers. She's tackled everyone from Kanye West to Son Lux to Sheryl Crowe.
Turns out this is not a newly acquired talent. The favorite internet pastime that is pulling impressive footage of Lorde's middle school years has recently turned up a recording of Lorde, then twelve year old Ella Yelich-O'Connor, performing a beautiful cover of "Use Somebody" by the Kings of Leon. Even at the age of twelve Lorde had a striking maturity to her voice. Part of it is her smokey register, but her real gift is the ability to sing a lifetime of emotional understanding into a song about loneliness distance without putting it on. Lorde has the gift of emotional insight. It's why the cover doesn't sound like an over sexed child, or a dry adult. The only thing put on about this kid is her signature black lipstick, and it's as cool as everything else she does.
Listen to twelve year old Lorde on Radio New Zealand, below: