Lorde appeared in 2013 with the international smash debut single, ‘Royals’, becoming the first New Zealander to ever top the Billboard Hot 100. The single topped the chart there for nine weeks and has sold over ten million copies worldwide. How do you follow up the kind of success ‘Royals’ achieved? Any follow-up is destined to be a disappointment in comparison. As such, follow-up singles ‘Tennis Court’ and ‘Team’ underperformed as ‘Royals’ continued to rule the airwaves. as Lorde destined to be a talented one-hit-wonder?
It’s been two long years since her last single, and judging by tweets in the lead-up to today’s single release, it’s been a wild couple of years. The world is also an infinitely more confusing place, and given that ‘Royals’ spoke on the troubles of being young in a world of aspiration, will Lorde return with further raw commentary?
Seemingly eschewing the opportunity to comment on the state of the world in favour of providing a welcome distraction, Lorde tweeted recently: “I truly believe in the necessity of cathartic pop records in times like these – I love the big sprawling projects too, but there’s something about the falls & lifts of meticulous pop, moments designed for u to feel what u need to, that’s more important than ever.”
‘Green Light’ is entirely new sonic territory for Lorde, but not for collaborator Jack Antanoff (fun., Taylor Swift, Sia). An uptempo club banger that certainly captures the green light of the title. The two have clearly been doing their pop research, their stripped back cover of Robyn’s ‘Hang With Me’ was seen as an indication of where the album might be headed. But the beat on ‘Green Light’ is certainly meant for the dancefloor.
It’s a euphoric single that begins with simple piano chords and a fast-paced vocal. As soon as the track switches up the tempo, it’s clear that Lorde had hit the nail on the head when she mentioned writing a cathartic pop record. Her emotional vocal elevates what could have been a pretty standard electro-pop track, adding that carefree element that brings to life the shedding of an old skin she sings of.
‘Green Light’ is the best song Lorde has ever recorded, and one that should hopefully see her reach further dizzying heights with what is shaping up to be one of the most anticipated albums of the year.
‘Green Light’ is available to download and stream now from iTunes, Apple Music and Spotify.