Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor, who you may know better as Lorde, took the world by storm in 2013 when she released the single “Royals.” It was hard to listen to the radio without eventually coming across a station playing it. Not only was the song a hit, but her un-choreographed, loose dancing and style became memorable traits of Lorde herself.
Lorde had been writing music since her early teens, but the majority of us were introduced to her with the release of “Royals” when she was 16 years old. From that point on, the New Zealand native was an international star. “Royals” appeared on Lorde’s debut studio album, “Pure Heroine,” which was soon joined by her second album, “Melodrama.” A few years after the release of her last album, she has seemingly gone silent but somehow still remains relevant.
“Pure Heroine,” Lorde’s debut studio album, was released in 2013 and was positively reviewed by most critics. It sold over one million copies. Audiences were introduced to the style of Lorde, described as dream pop — deep and electronic. The simple beats and instrumentation are carried through by Lorde’s thought-provoking lyrics. It took spots in numerous music publications and received a number of award nominations.
Around four years after her first album’s release, “Melodrama” became available in June 2017. Listeners still got a dreamy, electric dance vibe that was clearly Lorde’s, but it was still something fresh for fans new and old.
With the release of this album, Lorde embarked on a 70-show “Melodrama” world tour. The tour ended on in November 2018. Lorde slowly faded out of the public eye, seemingly of her own accord, but what she brought has stuck with audiences.
After the “Melodrama” tour, most of Lorde’s Instagram posts disappeared, either archived or deleted, and only three pictures remain on her page. The last post is dated April 5, 2018. Despite the lack of photos and updates on this account, it retains over 6.3 million followers.
Not only did Lorde disappear off of Instagram, but Twitter as well. Almost all of her tweets have been deleted; only two appear on her feed. The last available tweet from her account was posted on Nov. 27, 2017.
Audiences were essentially left with no idea as to what was next for Lorde. That is, until the summer of 2019, when fans were updated with news that she had been working on her new, third album in New Zealand for most of the year. The newsletter was sent in the name of being transparent with her fans, and after updating them about what she had been up to, she broke news to her fans regarding what was going on in her life.
It turned out that her dog, Pearl, sadly, had passed away within the last month. She described him as being “instrumental” in her songwriting. In the letter, she asked fans for their patience “as 2020 comes around and you start to wonder where the next record is.”
.@lorde’s email today letting us know about her loss of her dog.
Take all the time you need Ella, and know our thoughts are with you. RIP dear Pearl pic.twitter.com/a3ubexUumh
— Lorde fix ? (@Lorde_fix) November 2, 2019
While she understandably takes as much time as she needs to get through this tough time, her fans will patiently wait. Lorde is no stranger to silent hiatuses, and she may surprise fans when the next single or album comes out. As an artist who takes such significant breaks from her audience, they may be left wondering, “How does she stay relevant?”
Lorde’s style has been noticed and talked about since she first stepped in front of audiences. One of her most notable traits is her dancing.
Always an essential part of her music videos and performances, her dancing has been described as entertaining and interesting, while some harsher critics have described it as “awkward,” “unchoreographed” and straight-up “weird.” While it may not land her a spot in a show with the New York City Ballet, her moves are respectable.
Respectable? Yes. She is not afraid to feel her music in her own way whenever she feels like it. You may hear soft piano with a steady, light beat and look over at Lorde and see her twisting and turning and swinging her hair all around. She truly dances to the beat of her own drum. The first time audiences saw her dance on television, articles and videos littered social media with everyone’s take on her moves. It definitely got them talking.
The music alone has always been captivating. The lyrics she writes are intelligent, thoughtful and poetic. The instrumentation ranges from simple to complex, with dreamy electronic music backed by steady beats; the emotional lyrics are often juxtaposed with upbeat sounds.
On a lighter note, Lorde may not be as distant from social media as we think. Though she was eventually caught by internet sleuths, she ran a secret, now-inactive Instagram account where she rated onion rings that she ordered at various restaurants. The account was started as a joke, but she slid by undetected until fans took notice of the account’s followers. She is most likely not doing this again, but you never know if she is reading what fans are saying without them knowing.
Someone who is one of the biggest international pop stars we have seen in the past 10 years has managed a few impressive hiatuses. She maintains relevancy for many different reasons to many different people. As she stays somewhat silent, we see her influence appear in emerging artists’ aesthetics, which is great for big fans of the general style — still, a majority of us simply miss Lorde.
Wherever Lorde is and whatever she is up to, if we get another album from her soon, we’re in for a treat. It will be amazing to see how she has grown from the last two albums, what surprises she has in store for us and what we get with a new album. Did someone say another world tour? Maybe wishful thinking, but we’ll see.