Song of the week: Lorde paints a sunny portrait with “Solar Power”, her first song in 4 years

Song of the Week breaks down and talks about the song that we just can’t get out of our heads every week. Find these songs and more on our Spotify Top Songs playlist. For our favorite new songs from emerging artists, check out our Spotify New Sounds playlist. This week, Lorde returns with a brilliant new song after four years.

It’s been four years since we’ve received any new music from Lorde, and she seems happy. It’s enough to make us happy too.

After almost disappearing from the public eye in 2017, the New Zealand singer-songwriter has only been heard sporadically. Understandable: It’s probably difficult to write or share new music from Antarctica, where Lorde spent part of his break.

From one extreme to the other, Lorde released “Solar Power” with little fanfare or promotion. Rightly so, she opens the way with: “I hate winter, I can’t stand the cold.” Too dreamy to necessarily be a summer jam, “Solar Power” is largely acoustic, with an even more dreamy clip. In the cheerful visual, Lorde and her friends gather on the beach, the epitome of tranquility.

Unsurprisingly, “Solar Power” reunites Lorde with her trusted collaborator Jack Anotonoff, who remains reserved and busy, but the song is a marked departure from her previous discography. It’s light, bouncy and nonchalant. Known for her introspective lyrics and innovative production choices, she chose to return to the stage dressed in yellow and smiling for the camera.

Who would have expected a collaboration of Lorde with Clairo and Phoebe Bridgers (who provided the backing vocals) to be so… happy? The point is, none of us are the same as four years ago. Lorde is no exception.

– Marie Siroky

Contributing writer

Honorable mentions:

Jon Batiste – “Freedom”

Anyone who has attended a Black Lives Matter event knows that there is as much dancing as there is chanting at events. With his latest single “FREEDOM”, Jon Batiste writes an ode to the magic of groove as a form of liberation. On rhythmic drums and fanfare horns, he screams the quiver, the oscillation and every movement in between that makes him smile. “When I move my body like this, I don’t know why but I want freedom,” he sings, pulling out the last word as if he’s taking every drop of joy out of it. Take a look at the ecstatic music video – it’s impossible to stand still and participate.

– Nina Corcoran

Marina – “Venus Fly Trap”

Not only is “Venus Fly Trap” one of the biggest bops on Marina’s excellent Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land album, released today (June 11), it’s the pop star’s statement of intent. . “Don’t underestimate me because someday you’ll see / You’re in a losing battle, baby, you’ll never stop me from being,” she says on the crescendo chorus. In case you need further proof that she refused to “play the game for money or fame,” there’s the song’s campy clip, which sees the singer inhabiting a number of tropes of classic movies – from silent movie star to horror movie chick B – before literally burning down the Hollywood sign. A full album removed from her Marina and the Diamonds character to rest, the singular Welsh pop star has never been clearer who holds the power and reins of her sound, image and entire career.

– Glenn Rowley

HON, Pink sweatshirt $ – “WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO”

British electro-soul duo HONNE may be treading familiar pop territory with “What Would You Do?”, But the resulting jam is a perfect example of what makes their music special. Accompanied by a remarkable verse from the fast-rising crooner Pink Sweat $, “What would you do?” takes up the age-old concept of “the world could end at any time, so seize the day!” And dresses her in a fine velvet suit.

HONNE takes its time to build a hypnotic groove tinged with 70s disco and 90s hip-hop, without ever losing its touch of cool romanticism. And if the track gently directs us to “tell someone you love them before it’s too late,” then HONNE makes it easy for you. The song certainly marks a more carefree and euphoric era for the duo, and it’s one that will bring us to the present moment.

– Paolo Ragusa

Laura Stevenson – “State”

Since her 2019 album The Big Freeze, Laura Stevenson has undergone many personal upheavals, both beautiful and devastating; around the time she first became a mother, a relative was nearly killed. On “State,” the first single from Stevenson’s upcoming self-titled album, the Long Island musician echoes those simultaneous ups and downs as she grapples with the bittersweet futility of life.

The track swings between quieter moments and outbursts of fury, Stevenson’s voice seamlessly oscillating from a gentle cooing to a cathartic belt. “I’m turning into rage, a shining example of sheer anger / Pure and real and sticky and moving and sweet,” she sings, letting the words come out of her as if she has finally accepted the possibility of being everything. at a time.

– Abby Jones

Lucy Dacus – “Brando”

After releasing a series of excellent singles for her upcoming LP, Home Video, Lucy Dacus returns with “Brando”, a track that embodies her talent for thoughtful storytelling and emotional instrumentation. Referring to an old friend who projected her own obsession with movies and “classic Hollywood” onto Dacus, she ruminates on their one-sided relationship: “You called me cerebral / I didn’t know what you meant / But now I know it. Would it have killed you / called me pretty instead?

Even though that hint of disappointment runs through the entire song, Dacus conveys a sense of clarity with his straightforward lyrics and lively acoustic guitars. She expresses the need to be recognized for who she is, rather than for what that person wanted them to be – and in doing so, recovers their sense of self and point of view. It’s never easy to turn back on old relationships, but Dacus always seems to find a way to look back while sprinting forward.

– Paolo Ragusa

Jam & Lewis, Mariah Carey – “Liked a little (there you’re going to break my heart)”

For “Somewhat Loved”, the first single from their debut album, legendary writing and production crew Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis called on no one but Mariah Carey. It may be decades since the duo last collaborated with Elusive Chanteuse – they produced most of Rainbow in 1999 and Glitter in 2001 – but ten seconds into the song’s start, it’s obvious. that the magical chemistry of the couple with the icon is still there. Mariah delivers a sad voice over the enchanted production of Jam & Lewis, transporting Lambs to a bygone era before sending the song off to the rafters with her ageless whistle adlibs.

– Glenn Rowley

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