Lorde is promoting her new album, Melodrama, which doesn’t seem to be getting the same rapturous critical praise as her first album. Sophomore slumps are a real thing for artists, and while I haven’t liked any of the songs I’ve heard off of Melodrama, I’m not worried about Lorde. Lorde will be fine. She’s a bright girl and she realizes she’s still developing as an artist, a songwriter and a woman. I’m on Team Lorde for the most part, I just wish she would stop referring to herself as a “witch,” which she did again in this Guardian profile. Girl, you are not a witch! At least in this profile, she didn’t talk about the ghost of David Bowie looking over her every day. Sigh…
What she wears & how she feels when a man documents her style: “One of my favourite things is reading in magazines what I wear from the perspective of a male journalist. Always interesting.”
Being friends with someone as famous as Taylor Swift: “It’s like having a friend with very specific allergies. There are certain places you can’t go together. Certain things you can’t do. There are these different sets of considerations within the friendship. It’s like having a friend with an autoimmune disease.”
Again with calling herself a “witch”: “I’m like an old witch when I talk. I do meander. But I always come back around.”
She’s parted ways with many of the people who helped her in her early days: “It was really just a case of going where the work needed me to go. It’s hard to have ill-will with that. I’m the nucleus of what’s happening. And I’m going to take that to a lot of places in my career. I don’t think there’s anything strange about that.”
Breaking up with James Lowe: “I probably did drink too much. But it was, uh, an enlightening time. Obviously break-ups are very complex. And, for me, I found that it wasn’t this year of mourning followed by a year of light. I think you can feel a rushing freedom and be elated by that, and then that same day have this sadness hit you and for two hours feel the worst you’ve ever felt. It was a marbled experience.”
Staying with Jack Antonoff & Lena Dunham when in New York: “I love that family. That apartment. I’d go there every day, root around in the fridge… There was definitely an element of popping down the hall and Lena being, like, ‘What are you working on today?’ I felt like their child.”
Writing music about love, boyfriends, exes: “I think it’s great. That there’s going to be a lyric like this out in the world, and that anyone who is potentially interested in meeting me hears it. It is a difficult thing, the relationship between writing about people and knowing them. Loving them. But it comes with the package. Because, y’know, make no mistake about who I am.”
Worries about a sophomore slump: “When your first record is so well received, at such a fledgling time, you think: ‘God, what if I develop? And what if they don’t like who I develop into? What if they want me to go back to being an embryo?’… I’ve talked to other artist friends about a moment in their careers when they’ve felt themselves stop getting better. So it was almost nice, in a way, to come to this second record and realise: ‘Ooooh, I can still be crap at this.’ It meant there was still so much to learn.”
Who she wants to be: “I want to be really, really good one day. I think I’m pretty good now. I think I’ve made a good start. But I want to be Paul Simon.” She thumps her hands down hard on the table. “I want to be Leonard Cohen.” (Thump.) “I want to be Joni.” (Thump.) “F–king.” (Thump.) “Mitchell.” (Thump.) “And that takes time.”
How does it make you feel to hear Lorde compare friendship with Taylor Swift to a friend with an autoimmune disease? It’s a really strange – and perhaps unfortunate and offensive – comparison, and yet she sort of explained it perfectly, because I totally got what she was saying. Even more than that, I bet it’s weird to be part of Taylor’s girl squad “performance.” To be fair, Lorde never did the performative girl-squad thing like some of Tay’s friends. As for Lorde’s explanation of blind-item lyrics about exes and boyfriends… again, it’s not Taylor Swift-level, where Tay leaves all of these clues and then makes references in interviews, like she can’t wait for fans to solve the riddles. Lorde is just singing about some guy she hooked up with, someone whose identity we’ll never know because she’s actually pretty private. Still not a witch though.
Photos courtesy of Pacific Coast News.