Inspired by the “Flower Power” movement of the 1960s, New Zealand platinum artist Lorde releases her sun worship-inspired third studio album, Solar Power.
According to the enigmatic 24-year old singer-songwriter best known for the global monster hit, “Royals,” the album is a “celebration of the natural world” that combines “60’s and 70’s California folk” with songs from her youth to form tracks that “sounds like nature.”
“It was walking in the park by my house with my dog,” she said about the inspiration behind the album, “I would wake up every morning and walk my dog, and through that little routine I saw the seasons changing for the first time and I saw the morning light every morning and I really started to feel the magic of nature and the outside world,”
Other than being struck by the natural world, Lorde also shared that she made the album as a “response” to the popstar lifestyle.
“I realized that I am someone who always needs to retreat from being a popstar to be able to make something and undergo a transformation that makes me want to write something new,” she shared.
And transform she has. From the angry, disillusioned tone of ‘Melodrama’ to the quieter but still introspective take of Solar Power, Lorde tackles themes of escapism and celebrity culture against a backdrop of floaty guitar instrumentals. From “unpacking wellness culture” with “Mood Ring” to a letter to her younger self in Secrets of a Girl (Who’s seen it all), the album explores themes of grief, climate crisis, and re-connection with nature. Additionally, she also expresses thoughts of the future, namely how different the natural world will be for her future children.
“I thought a lot about our changing climate and how different our environment and our natural world will look for my children, for example. I think that I am pretty environmentally conscious and when making this album, I was also thinking of the parallels between our time and the 1960s Flower Child movement when they were also really thinking about the environment in a focused way. And through that framework I have tried to make conscious decisions and ask questions of the way I make work because we have only got one planet,” she said.
Though the album deals with the environment, she confessed that the album is actually not meant to be a big statement piece. Instead, it was more of an experience for her to reevaluate how she can contribute to a greener environment. This prompted her to not release a CD and instead opted for a music box with handwritten notes and exclusive photographs, which she describes as a “carbon offset product.”
“I’m a pop star, I’m not a scientist,” she said. ‘I didn’t answer any of my own questions. So I tried to not come at it too much of a ‘here’s my take on this’ necessarily. But what I did was try to re-evaluate all of the things that I do in my job, whether it is making a cd or making merch.”
Lorde’s Solar Power album including her latest single, “Mood Ring” is now available in major streaming platforms.