181 – Lorde
It’s tough to decide which is more impressive about Lorde’s full-length debut, Pure Heroine — the music itself or the fact that the singer-songwriter behind Lorde is only 16 years old!
The New Zealand native, whose actual name is Ella Yelich-O’Connor, had record labels in a bidding war not long after she entered her teens. At 13, she signed with Universal and a year later she was working with the label’s songwriters.
She put out The Love Club EP in November 2012 and followed that with the single, “Royals,” which hit the top of the charts in New Zealand and also became the first female solo artist to reach No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Alternative Songs chart.
The song is definitely the peak of Pure Heroine, but it’s far from the only standout track. Throughout the album, Yelich-O’Connor mixes in a variety of influences. The opener, “Tennis Court”, calls to mind a little bit of M.I.A. But she also invokes artists such as Zola Jesus — with a far less haunting tone — on “400 Lux”, “Ribs”, “Team” and “Buzzcut Season”.
Still in high school — or whatever the Kiwis call it over there — Yelich-O’Connor is a rising star and has only begun to tap her seemingly endless potential. It’ll be fun to see what she can accomplish once she’s able to focus full time on her music.