Lorde Reveals The Surprising Inspiration Behind Her New Music

We’re still a few months away from the June 16 release of Lorde’s high anticipated sophomore album Melodrama, but the New Zealand singer has already shared two huge singles from the track.

Co-written by Bleachers’ frontman Jack Antonoff, both “Green Light” and “Liability” take Lorde’s songwriting to new heights. Where much of Lorde’s stunning debut Pure Heroine was made up of observations of those around her, the always intuitive artist is this time taking her inspiration from the inside, examining personal relationships and her own insecurities.

In anticipation of her new album, Lorde sat down with friend and Rookie founder Tavi Gevinson for the first ever episode of the Rookie podcast. The women discussed Lorde’s songwriting process, which almost exclusively takes place in the United States, with Lorde using her time with friends in New Zealand as source material. Lorde also did her best Kylie Jenner to declare 2017 the year of emotions. We’re feeling it.

The two also discussed the surprising inspiration for the musical arrangement of “Green Light,” with Lorde playing the first version of the track at the 25:50 mark.

Check out the full podcast below, as well as some of the highlights from the in-depth interview.

On whether she’s Lorde or Ella.

“Both…I’m ordinary. I feel ordinary all the time.”

On the misconception of fame.

“When you take your life and try to frame it in these beautiful ways, it’s easy for people to think that your life must therefore be beautiful.”

On previewing Melodrama for friends.

“Tavi (Gavinson) was one of the first people to hear the new album, one of the first people to hear it who didn’t work on it. I think you heard it before my family? I sat in Tavi’s beautiful apartment and I played you a few songs and I remember them feeling, like, so real when I played them for you and your response was so beautiful. Your response was like, bah! (crying sounds).”

On the inspiration behind “Liability.”

“I remember when we were writing that, it felt like there was something to it which kind of like, twanged in the back of my brain, like oh, this feels like high school. There’s that quintessential high school feeling of just, that thing of walking into the room and being a giant all of a sudden. I’m way too much and people are gonna pull back and make other plans and you’re like, I get it. Why wouldn’t they? I’m too much.”

On what 2017 represents.

“2017 is the year of emotion. 2016 was the year of realizing stuff, as captioned by Kylie Jenner…In 2017 I want to feel everything, good or bad. It’s an outpouring.”

On being inspired by a Florence and the Machine concert.

“Her (Florence Welch) player did this big sort of jangling movement with her hands on the piano and it was literally the physicality of that movement that became the way Jack (Antonoff) played that (“Green Light”)…When people say, ‘Oh, she went pop,’ or whatever, that’s just the inside of my brain. That’s how a song like that enters the world and goes out into the universe.”

On finding clarity in songwriting.

“I think all my best songs help to crystalize something I was feeling and pull it all into a centralized place where it might have been spread out before. I feel like it comes together and it crystalizes and I see what it was that I was feeling for the first time. In the case of that song (“Green Light”) I didn’t know I was feeling that way until we wrote the song.”

On writing about New Zealand while in America.

“I really don’t write about my time in America very often. I don’t know why that is…it can be hard to work surrounded by your things and your life and all of these are little markers of yourself and other people.”