Lorde Expressing Existential Emotions Beyond Her Years

Lorde “comes from a land of pioneering women with sometimes perverse perspectives, from the writers Katherine Mansfield and Keri Hulme to the filmmaker Jane Campion,” Los Angeles Magazine contributor Evelyn McDonnell writes in a review of the teen’s first of two Los Angeles shows.

“Her songs are full of enigmatic epigrams that are more often cultural critiques than empowering aphorisms: ‘It’s a new art form showing people how little we care’; ‘No one around here’s good at keeping their eyes closed’; ‘I am not a white teeth teen.’

“If Ella Yellich O’Connor seems like the class weirdo, that might be because you don’t know about the rich history of dark-minded, strong-voiced female artists from New Zealand, or about (as the Cramps once put it) what’s inside a girl.

“Lorde expresses existential emotions with a confidence way beyond her 17 (!) years. Hers is a voice of difference but not diffidence. And yet, her 2013 debut album, Pure Heroine, went where few of her musical foremothers (Kate Bush, Bjork, Judee Sill) have dared: to number 3 on the Billboard 200.

“Last night, the brimming venue sang along with her unprocessed alto on her unlikely number-one hit ‘Royals,’ a postcolonial anthem that rejects the materialist imperialism of commercial American music for a kind of downhome (or down-under) individualism.”

Original article by Evelyn McDonnell, Los Angeles Magazine, October 7, 2014.

Photo by Sonya Singh.


Tags: Billboard 200  Bjork  Ella Yelich-O'Connor  Jane Campion  Judee Sill  Kate Bush  Katherine Mansfield  Keri Hulme  Lorde  Los Angeles Magazine  Pure Heroine  

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