In January 2014, a 17-year-old from New Zealand made the cover of Rolling Stone showing off her infamous bushy locks and edgy rule-breaking style. The world’s favorite anti-popstar, Lorde, completely dominated the music industry that year, her sound resonating around the globe while earning her two Grammys for her multi-platinum record “Royals.”
A long, generally crappy three years later, she’s back and buzzing at green-tinted fever pitch. Bless.
After a full week of cryptic teasers and an elaborate scavenger hunt for her New Zealand fans, Lorde, an ever-curious and intriguing songwriter, has returned with a new single, “Green Light,” and even newer, mesmerizing sound. Her voice is noticeably raspier, a smidge deeper, but upholds the same sophistication and swagger she debuted back in 2013. She has noticeably matured, not by becoming more refined, but by confessing that—prepare for shock—you don’t actually have everything figured out before you’re 20.
“i am so proud of this song. it’s very different, and kinda unexpected. it’s complex and funny and sad and joyous and it’ll make you DANCE,” she wrote on Twitter prior to the release. “it’s the first chapter of a story i’m gonna tell you, the story of the last 2 wild, fluorescent years of my life. this is where we begin.”
“Green Light” begins with series of powerful piano chords and a hauntingly gripping verse of quintessentially Lorde lyrics before exploding into a driving drum beat and a euphoric chorus that goes, “I’m waiting for it, that green light, I want it.” This blissful juxtaposition builds a series of climaxes and comedowns, resulting in a rollercoaster of a song that reflects the true emotional tumult of heartbreak—which Lorde herself revealed the single is about.
Just as the singer promised, the song will make you want to dance, but it achieves that goal flawlessly without submitting to any ephemeral pop music trend. Though Lorde may have switched lanes with her artistic approach so to speak, this single makes it clear that she’s setting off down her own road in an industry hesitant to appreciating eccentricities. And thank god, because few artists can give us the overwhelming rush of the possibility to do anything simply through their music. “Green Light” is exactly the type of song you need when you’re stuck in a rut, a sensational rocket to pull you up, dust you down and jog your senses.
Moments after making the electric song available across streaming platforms, Lorde uploaded the official music video on Vevo. Decked in neon pink mesh, the singer prances wildly around in the streets with a vintage Walkman. Meanwhile, her record label revealed that the name of her upcoming sophomore full-length is “Melodrama,” which is expected this June. Until then, you more than have the green light to set her single to repeat.