By Emily Duvall
Twenty-four year-old New Zealand native Lorde brought some sun needed this month by releasing her third studio album, Solar Power, on Fri., Aug. 20. Unlike her previous album Melodrama, which centered on heartbreak and solitude, Solar Power possesses a lighter and almost radiant feeling. Written and produced with Jack Antonoff — best known for work with other big artists such as Taylor Swift and Clairo — the duo have created a rhythmic masterpiece that is somber and peaceful at times, while airy and joyful at others.
The album begins with The Path, a track that encapsulates Lorde’s journey spending many of her young adult years in the public’s eye. The Path opens with a cheery and upbeat melody that Lorde continues throughout the rest of Solar Power. From her vocalizing to the simple drums and guitar strumming in the distant background, this track effortlessly paves the way for the rest of the album.
Lorde also touches on important world crises, an example being Fallen Fruit, the fifth track on the album. Through the song, the singer sheds light on the shortcomings of previous generations in the fight against climate change and discusses how the climate crisis is a burden on the backs of younger generations. Other songs, such as Oceanic Feeling, dive deeper into the idea of reconnecting and becoming one with nature. Overall, a common theme that emanates from Lorde’s album is the importance of growing in tandem with the natural world, while finding balance in the outdoors.
Throughout, Lorde utilizes acoustic guitars and other basic instruments to build upon her tracks, formulating delicate harmonies with her voice. The New Zealand native keeps her new album free of overpowering background vocals on her tracks; instead, she adds her own voice into some songs’ distant background. She also works with echoes, creating a psychedelic sound that bounces from ear to ear. In the title track and lead single for the album Solar Power, she credits artists Phoebe Bridgers and Clairo as backing vocalists.
Though a completely different direction than her previous album Melodrama, Solar Power is equally as impressive, bringing a captivating and gratifying energy that intertwines storytelling and important messages. The flow of the album is beautiful, making you want to leave it on repeat for all hours of the day. I highly recommend giving it a listen while soaking up some sun.