Ella Yelich-O’Connor, known to the planet as Lorde, is embracing a sunnier and more analog sound, filled with plucked acoustic guitars and brushed snares. Since releasing her breakout single, “Royals,” in 2013, she’s made the foremost of hook-heavy pop songs constructed from a palette of overcast electronic sounds.
“In the past,” she says, “I’d hear a guitar and I’d say ‘Oh, here we go. It’s close to getting painfully authentic!’ ” The title of her new album, solar energy, belies the stylistic sea change; after years spent as a famous and famously melancholic artist, she’s now singing of sun salutations and meditations. during a new video, above, she and friends frolic on a beach in her home of latest Zealand – far away from the late-night troublemaking of 2017’s “Green Light.”
“I was feeling good, you know?” she says. “It felt like there was something within the air down there, and that I really wanted to capture that. But I’ve kind of since been told that taken as an entire, the record features a lot more depth thereto. It’s sadder than people thought. There’s always shades to my work.” To catch up, Morning Edition’s A Martinez asked Lorde what the past four (relatively quiet) years have entailed, and the way she received this very breezy new crossroads.