Talk is cheap. Although it took Keith Richards an illustrious career, solo project and some forty years to discover this, Ella Yurich-O’Connor – otherwise known by her stage name Lorde – has become enlightened at the tender age of 16. With honesty and unadulterated authority, the New Zealander validates this statement in her debut Pure Heroine. Where the minimalist chart-climber “Royals” found room to discuss the inaccessibility of wealth and a connection to common lyrics in mainstream music, Lorde parades conviction in her own words with things being introspective and personal on “400 Lux” (“We can talk like there’s something to say”). And though her eyes are fiercely set on a glory few her age could dream of, she doesn’t deny herself the reality of fear in growing up (“Ribs”).
Through choral odes in three and four part harmonies, she waxes and wanes from confidence to feeling out of place and does so in an exquisite dichotomy of youth and maturity that’s stunning and relatable. And to support Lorde’s Emily Haines-coloured vocals, she finds aid in producer Joel Little, who creates glowing electro pop simplicity, deep synth lines and selective pitch shifting (“Team”) that cohesively flow throughout the album’s entirety and allow her passionately charged lyricism to take prominence. Unlike her counterparts that she readily criticizes for their lack of originality, Ella proves in bare boned tracks like “Still Sane” and “A World Alone” that she actually has something to say. While it might seem redundant to talk about how others speak, Lorde takes her final stance on the banality of common speech with her self-appointed crown and dismisses any scepticism with three words: “Let ‘em talk”.
Listen: “Tennis Court”, “Buzzcut Season”, “Team”, “Glory And Gore” || Watch: “Royals”