by Thomas Bedward August 18, 2021
After announcing her return early this year, there has been an unrelenting sense of excitement surrounding Lorde’s new album. With previous singles ‘Solar Power’ and ‘Stoned At The Nair Salon’ becoming instant, runaway hits, the standard has definitely been set, meaning all eyes are now on her third and final single, the simply titled ‘Mood Ring’.
Sticking to the flowing, breezy sounds that first appeared in ‘Solar Power’, the new single is another sun-kissed pop wonder, one that leans heavily on spiritual healing, sun salutations and all the tenets of pseudo-spiritual wellness culture such as astrology, crystals, sage-burning. While it might all sound like new-age nonsense on paper, Lorde has been quick to emphasise that the song is steeped heavily in satire.
Wrapped in nostalga and cheeky millennial vibes, Lorde pulls lines such as “don’t you think the early 2000s seems so far away?”, while artfully dipping into a blissed-out palette that conjures up memories of late-90’s hangovers muddled 2000’s sounds. In a recent press release, Lorde shared the following statement on ‘Mood Ring’, summing it up with a glistening golden tint.
“This is a song I am very excited about, it’s so much fun to me. Obviously, when making this album I did a deep dive into ’60s, Flower Child culture. I wanted to understand the commune life, dropping out from society and trying to start again. That really resonated to me when writing this album. One thing that occurred to me as a major parallel between that time and our time is our wellness culture and our culture of spirituality, pseudo-spirituality, wellness, pseudo-wellness. Things like eating a macrobiotic vegan diet or burning sage, keeping crystals, reading tarot cards or your horoscope. These were all things that they were dabbling in back then, and that me and my girlfriends are dabbling in today. I was like, ‘I think there’s a pop song in here.’ So, this is kind of my extremely satirical look at all of those vibes.”
As with her previous singles from the new album, Lorde has shared another music video that follows the trend of throwing a shimmering, sunny filter over everything.
‘Solar Power’ is Lorde’s third studio album, and the follow-up to 2017’s critically acclaimed ‘Melodrama’. After much hype and fanfare, it’s set to drop this Friday, August 20th.
So far not all reactions to Lorde’s new music have been overwhelming positive, with Pitchfork remarking of the new single that, “There are some witty lines, like a trifling complaint that her mood is “as dark as my roots.” But, in the context of the prior singles, it’s yet another song that’s less exciting than hoped for; plus, for someone who’s previously been so ahead of the curve, this critique of wellness culture seems pretty trite.”
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