Lorde’s Reign Returns

Today, Climate Culture has been handed off to co-founder and resident Lorde expert, Jackie Garso.

Lorde’s been my favorite musician for years now. Her first two albums, Pure Heroine and Melodrama, are some of the foundations of the genre known as ‘sad girl pop’. Around a year ago, when she announced her third album was in the works, the overwhelming reaction was ‘Oh thank God. I need Lorde to help me through my early twenties.’ Instead of sticking with the vibe she established and then arguably perfected, however, Lorde takes us on a journey through the summer with Solar Power.

For the most part, Solar Power speaks to happiness, to the joy of summer, and to the freedom Lorde feels in her life. Nowadays, though, is it really summer without a confrontation with the realities of climate change? There are several lines in the first few songs that allude to this. For example, in “The Path”, she sings “caught in the complex divorce of the seasons” – the lengthening of the fire and hurricane seasons, the way it takes longer and longer for fall rain to switch to winter snow). On “Fallen Fruit”, she looks it full in the face. She speaks to the way older generations simply didn’t know the consequences that were coming years down the line, “We had no idea the dreams we had were far too big,” and the way the current generations are left dealing with everything, “Through the halls of splendor where the apple trees all grew/You’ll leave us dancing on the fallen fruit.” She also addresses how difficult it is to know that we’re on the edge of losing what we grew up with, the way no other generation has had to confront.

Finally, to everyone who feels hopeless and powerless, let me say this. If the queen of sad girl pop can look at the realities of climate change and still find joy in the long days of summer, so can we. Vibe with “Fallen Fruit” for a start.

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