🎵 Solar Power (Lorde)

Listened 2021 studio album by Lorde from Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

Classified by Lorde as her “weed album”, Solar Power is an indie folk and psychedelic effort driven by acoustic guitar arrangements, marking a departure from the synth-heavy, dance-oriented music of her previous works. The album’s lyrics revolve around solipsism and summer escapism, mainly focusing on Lorde’s leisure time in her homeland New Zealand, simultaneously expressing her disdain for fame and celebrity culture.

I was intrigued by Lorde’s move to a more acoustic sound. However, I feel that the album as a whole makes more sense. I do not think that it is necessarily a ‘back to basics‘ album, as some have critiqued. (Just watch her live performances, not basic.) Although Lorde has traded in the synths and drum machines, the rich textures are still present, especially with the harmonies and production.


It doesn’t require a whole lot of mental effort to figure out why Lorde, like so many of us, is questioning her place in the world, discovering a new appreciation for nature, and trying to return to basics. On a personal level, she’s explained that dog ownership helped turn her attention outdoors. A global pandemic and a sickly, smoldering planet has surely prompted her to reëvaluate her priorities. The need to escape the psychic claustrophobia of technology looms large on this record, too.

“I haven’t made a Jack Antonoff record,” the singer said. “I’ve made a Lorde record and he’s helped me make it and very much deferred to me on production and arrangement. Jack would agree with this. To give him that amount of credit is frankly insulting.” She called the narrative — which has also included speculation about the pair’s romantic and sexual life — “retro” and “sexist.”

Solar Power finds its author thinking deeply about the jarring disconnect between being an extremely private person and an extremely well-known public figure. This is someone acutely aware of the absurdity of fame, which was foisted upon her at 16 and has waned very little since. 

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