Lorde Ushers In A New Chapter With ‘Melodrama’


The album is out now

Lorde sings in color on her sophomore album Melodrama. She’s often said that Pure Heroine was her period of observation; those teenage years when the actions of others inform who you are. For her new project, then, the singer is on the frontline of adulthood (or at least very close, she's only 20 after all), and feeling everything along the way.

Jack Antonoff of Bleachers co-wrote and co-produced all but one song on Melodrama, and he brings the same sensitive, reimagined pop and modern sounds from his own new album to Lorde's project. Sonically, it’s a lot more vibrant than the minimalist sound we’re used to from Lorde (think equal parts Robyn and Kate Bush), but it's recognizably still her, just a bit more refined and a lot more confident. This is evident in the way she delivers lines like, "Blow all my friendships to sit in hell with you” on the standout track “The Louvre” with pure gusto. And though the ways she croons “Bet you rue the day you kissed a writer in the dark,” seems like a wink to Taylor Swift-like lyrics, it's followed by “Now she’s gonna play and sing and lock you in her heart,” sung with a piercing emotion that is all her own. And though the tracks vary in tone, attitude, and message, they somehow maintain a sense of cohesiveness in their differences.

Lorde insists that Melodrama isn’t a breakup album, although it follows the trajectory of a broken heart: Denial disguised as pop bops, slow-paced indignation, and eventual acceptance that gives way to self-preservation (“I care for myself the way I used to care about you,” she sings on “Hard Feelings/ Loveless”). The record is meant to follow one night at a house party. The first half of the album is laced with themes of drinking, partying, and staying out late. They’re the high points of a night—when you’re chasing that rush of something better, something worthwhile. The latter is the comedown; it’s what you get when the music shuts off and you’re thrust out of your brief escape. It’s Lorde at her most vulnerable and her most profound.

New York magazine critic Craig Jenkins recently tweeted that the project is “powerful music to lurk old flames’ Instagram to.”  And it is! It’s also powerful music to soundtrack your journey toward fully extinguishing that old flame. It’s powerful music to glow up to. It’s powerful music for anyone experiencing growing pains. It’s powerful music to soundtrack a generation—and an artist—coming into their own. We’re all trying to figure this thing out as we go along. Lorde captures that existentialism, and puts it to music.

Cara Delevingne, Ashley Benson, and Agyness Deyn also star

Elisabeth Moss is trying to keep it together as punk rock artist Becky Something in the trailer for forthcoming movie Her Smell. She's surrounded by iconic faces who make up her band Something She, Gayle Rankin as Ali van der Wolff and Agyness Deyn as Marielle Hell, as she grapples with the fact that her musical prowess just doesn't draw as big a crowd as it used to.

In addition to the wavering fame, Becky is "grappling with motherhood, exhausted bandmates, nervous record company executives, and a new generation of rising talent eager to usurp her stardom," according to a press release. "When Becky's chaos and excesses derail a recording session and national tour, she finds herself shunned, isolated and alone. Forced to get sober, temper her demons, and reckon with the past, she retreats from the spotlight and tries to recapture the creative inspiration that led her band to success." And what's clear from the trailer, Moss is absolutely meant for this role, transforming into the punk on the brink of collapse.

Rounding out the cast are Ashley Benson, Cara Delevingne, and Dan Stevens. Watch the official trailer, below. Her Smell hits theaters on April 12 in New York and 14 in L.A., with "national expansion to follow."




Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

In an acceptance speech at the BRIT Awards

As The 1975 accepted the BRIT Award for Best British group, outspoken frontman Matty Healy shared the words of journalist Laura Snapes as a way of calling out misogyny that remains ever-present in the music industry. Healy lifted a powerful quote from Snapes' coverage of allegations against Ryan Adams for The Guardian: "Male misogynist acts are examined for nuance and defended as traits of 'difficult' artists, [while] women and those who call them out are treated as hysterics who don't understand art."

Snapes reacted almost immediately on Twitter, saying she was "gobsmacked, and honoured that he'd use his platform to make this statement." Snapes had originally written the line for an interview she published with Sun Kil Moon singer Mark Kozelek back in 2015, in response to Kozelek publicly calling her a "bitch" who "totally wants to have my babies" because she requested to speak in person rather than via e-mail, which she brought up in the more recent piece on Adams. Kozelek's vile response, and the misogyny that allowed it to play out without real consequences, it could be argued, could have easily played out in the same way in 2019, which makes her reiteration of the line, and Healy's quoting it on such a large platform, all the more important.

It should be noted that back in December, Healy caught a bit of heat himself on Twitter for an interview with The Fader in which he insinuated that misogyny was an issue exclusive to hip-hop, and that rock 'n' roll had freed itself of it. He clarified at length on Twitter and apologized, saying, "I kinda forget that I'm not very educated on feminism and misogyny and I cant just 'figure stuff out' in public and end up trivializing the complexities of such enormous, experienced issues."