It’s difficult to believe that in four years we’ve only had two albums from the incredible Lorde. It feels as though the singer is constantly putting out innovative and exciting new singles, but in reality we’re just keeping her same two albums on constant repeat.
One way we have enjoyed new music from Lorde is through her impressive catalogue of live covers.
From taking on an R&B hit to putting her own spin on 80s classics, here are five of our favourite covers from Lorde.
Phil Collins’ 1981 track has been haunting listeners since before Lorde was even born, so it didn’t take much for the New Zealand singer to increase the intensity of the track. Thanks to her limited instrumental backing and seamless switch between whisper powerhouse vocals, Lorde still manages to make the track even more beautifully morose.
To help induct grunge godfathers Nirvana into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014, Lorde joined remaining members Dave Grohl, Krist Noveselic and Pat Smear along with St. Vincent, Joan Jett and Kim Gordon to perform the band’s 1993 single. During an interview with Rolling Stone in 2014, Grohl said of the first time he heard “Royals” on the radio, “(I was) driving with my two daughters, Violet and Harper, who are eight and five years old.” Grohl said he was “so happy and relieved that my two girls were singing a popular song on the radio that had some substance and depth, which I considered to be healthy for them as kids. I know that sounds kind of parent-ish.” On choosing Lorde for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame performance, Grohl said “There’s something about her that represented or resembled the Nirvana aesthetic. She has an incredible future ahead of her as a writer, performer and vocalist.”
Kurt Cobain isn’t the only singer Lorde has filled in for posthumously. At the 2016 Brit Awards, Lorde covered “Life On Mars” in a tribute performance to the recently deceased David Bowie. Before his death, Bowie called Lorde the future of music.
In 2013, Lorde took Tears For Fears’ 1985 hit single “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” and turned it into a dark and ominous cover for the dystopian film The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. The cover was so well-received that Lorde went on to curate the soundtrack for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1, which included her own original single “Yellow Flickr Beat.”
Lorde’s experimentation with covers often include featuring a track from the ’70s, ’80s or ’90s, but in her 2014 appearance at the BBC Live Lounge, Lorde brought her cover performance into the 21st century. Slowing down Jeremih’s beat and putting a dark and ominous twist on Jeremih’s “Don’t Tell Him,” Lorde turned a song about hooking up into one that could work in a horror film.