[Photo Credit: Mark Brown for Baeble]
Back in 2013, if you asked someone whether or not they listened to Lorde
, their response was most likely "Who?" to which you would have to respond "You know that song 'Royals'? Her." Fast forward four years and I don't think there's anyone who doesn't know who she is, meaning if her song came on the radio or someone mentioned her name they would be knowledgeable enough to sing along or join the conversation. What some may not know, however, is that in addition to being an insanely talented singer, Lorde also writes all of her own music. By the age of only 20 she has already written so many absolute classics with lyrics that you can't believe nobody came up with before her. Of course she sometimes writes with other individuals, but the decision as to what actually makes it into the song is entirely hers. In honor and anticipation of her long awaited sophomore album Melodrama
, set to be released on June 16th, we've composed a list of our favorite Lorde lyrics.
1. "No Better"
"And Jamie picks fights but they're weak and short-lived / Because no one can be bothered when it's humid like this / And we roll in heavy summer like it's shameful to be underneath a ceiling or a roof try come out and steal our thunder."
This line sticks out to me in particular because, 1. Jamie sounds annoying and I relate to that–I'm probably the Jamie of my friend group if we're being honest, and 2. I've always thought that "No Better" was the perfect chill summer song and this lyric perfectly captures that feeling of just being with your friends with nothing better to do than drive.
2. "400 Lux"
"You pick me up and take me home again / Head out the window again / We're hollow like the bottles that we drain / You drape your wrists over the steering wheel / Pulses can drive from here / We might be hollow, but we're brave."
I'm really drawn to lyrics about driving for someone who takes the train everywhere and doesn't have a license because she'd rather not be stuck in NYC traffic for 5 hours everyday. Anyway, I like the portrayal of comfort shown here, there isn't a whole lot going on but the two characters relate to each other and find comfort in each other because of that.
3. "Tennis Court"
"Baby be the class clown / I'll be the beauty queen in tears / It's a new art form showing people how little we care / We're so happy, even when we're smilin' out of fear / Let's go down to the tennis court, and talk it up like yeah."
Listen, I know that the "Tennis Court" music video is just Lorde standing in front of a black backdrop nearly inanimate, but whenever I hear this chorus I just picture her sitting on a sidewalk cub in a frumpy pink dress with makeup running down her face. I feel like I may end up in a similar situation at some point in my life, I think I may be projecting.
4. "The Love Club"
"The only problem that I got with the club / Is how you're severed from the people who watched you grow up / When you're a member go on your great adventure again / And we'll be waiting at the end."
Lorde writes a lot about her battle with coming to terms with popularity and fame, and this is one of the many instances of her doing this. I do think, however, that this can be applied to a more relatable topic of growing up and having to leave home. You begin to experience so many things when you leave home–whether it be for a job, college, or to just be gone–that it may become hard to remember where you came from, which for some people is the most defining factor about them.
"You're the only friend I need / Sharing beds like little kids / And laughing 'til our ribs get tough / But that will never be enough."
The entirely of "Ribs" is about a fear of growing up (See, I'm not the only one who thinks adulthood is a trap!). Here, Lorde draws on having someone you're close to to use as an anchor to keep you grounded and to have as a shield from everything going on in the real world; but, she remains realistic by acknowledging that you can run but you can't hide forever.
6. "A World Alone"
"I know we're not everlasting / We're a train wreck waiting to happen / One day the blood won't flow so gladly / One day we'll all get still."
There's a lot here in just a few lines. She could be speaking of a relationship inevitably coming to an end, or about your life eventually doing the same–either way these are both topics that people have thought about at one point or another. Everything is fleeting.
"I'm faking glory / Lick my lips toss my hair / And turn the smile on / And the story's brand-new / But I can take it from here / I'll find my own bravado."
Being that I've only had Pure Heroine
to listen to from Lorde for the past 4 years, I've listened to it a lot. Enough to know for sure that "Bravado" is my favorite song of hers, and that the only thing stopping me from getting a tattoo of "I'll find my own bravado" somewhere is my tendency to regret most things that I do. I like the idea of remaining true to yourself despite whatever changes in your life, even if that means having to occasionally put on a facade.
"So I guess I'll go home / Into the arms of the girl that I love / The only love I haven't screwed up / She's so hard to please / But she's a forest fire / I do my best to meet her demands / Play at romance, we slow dance / In the living room, but all that a stranger would see / Is one girl swaying alone / Stroking her cheek."
In an interview with Zane Lowe for Beats 1, Lorde explained what she means by this saying, "I'm always gonna have myself so I have to really nurture this relationship and feel good about hanging out with myself and loving myself." I think this is something that everyone has to do at some point in their life, no matter how difficult it may be. It creates a kind of safety net, in the event that the people in your life don't stay–which is exactly what "Liability" is–at least you can't abandon yourself.
"But every song's like gold teeth, grey goose, trippin' in the bathroom / Blood stains, ball gowns, trashin' the hotel room / We don't care, we're driving Cadillacs in our dreams. / But everybody's like Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece. / Jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash / We don't care, we aren't caught up in your love affair."
I'll never forget the first time I heard this line in "Royals," and could only think about the theme song to The Fairly Oddparents
. Obtuse, rubber goose, green moose, guava juice! Giant snake, birthday cake, large fries, chocolate shake! Now I can't listen to it without laughing and I appreciate that so much.
"Smoke and sunset, off Mulholland / He was talking, I was wondering 'bout / You and that girl, she your girlfriend? / Face from heaven, bet the world she don't know / Pretty girls don't know the things that I know / Walk my way, I'll share the things that she won't."
"Magnets" was released in September of 2013 as the third promotional single for electronic duo Disclosure's album Caracal
, and I remember thinking that these were some of the most badass lyrics I'd ever heard Lorde sing. The gossip aspect of it. The shade. The secret-ness. What does she know that they don't? This line stands out to me even more so now than before because of the parallel that it seems to draw to Lorde's 2017 track, "Green light"...
11. "Green Light"
"I know about what you did and I wanna scream the truth / She thinks you love the beach, you're such a damn liar."
...And that brings us to our final lyric. WE. STILL. DON'T. KNOW. WHAT. HE. DID. Max Martin may have called this a case of "incorrect songwriting," but we think it's a case of pure excellence. It's angsty, honest, real...
We love how she dives into the specifics, and even though it doesn't rhyme, it'll stand as one of our favorite Lorde lyrics of all time.