Sunday, September 29, 2013

Lorde talks

Lorde. Photo: Fairfax/Charles Howells

Lorde has done hardly any local press here in New Zealand - she did her first interview with blogger Katherine Lowe back in January; her first and only press interview to date was with Stinky Jim in The Listener in March, and she's done only her second local press interview to coincide her album release, with Duncan Greive for Metro magazine. That story came out this week, read an excerpt of it here...

snip: "One August afternoon, I sat in on a meeting between Ella’s manager, Scott Maclachlan, his assistant Amy Goldsmith and Ella ... The pace of the meeting is brutal. In 15 minutes they cover an impending UK release, Ella’s ideas for the next music video, payment options for a remix and a standing invitation to a writing camp for the next Major Lazer album with Pharrell Williams and Diplo.

Just last year she emailed Maclachlan: “You asked me a while ago who my dream producer would be, and I think these days I’m leaning toward Diplo.” Now things have changed to the point where she can say breezily of the camp, “I thought it’d be cool to swing by for a day.”

Of course this tight control over her media exposure has led to a lot of talk, with some music critics attempting to call her out for the supposed hype, such as Simon Sweetman's attack on Lorde. [And then Sweetman's review got reviewed]

In Duncan's Metro piece, he asks Lorde if she's seen that review by Sweetman. She messages back from her Paris hotel room saying she has, but she's looking out her window at the Arc De Triomphe and that review makes her feel nothing. 

As the story suggests, she's got other things on her mind - the next single, writing for her next album, etc. Duncan's Metro piece also features an unfortunate gaff, suggesting Lorde is the first Kiwi to top the US charts since Crowded House. How bizarre.

So, the best thing written about Lorde this week? By Lorde. Published in today's Sunday Star Times' Sunday magazine.

excerpt: "Each day I'd take the train [to the studio]. The night-time rides were my chance to breathe, relax for a few minutes. Then I'd pull out my laptop and hit play on whatever we'd worked on that day. For a few seconds with a new song there's always this thudding amnesia, like it's not your work,and you get to listen with fresh ears to this thing that's still newly born.

"For months and months I took that night train and listened to my voice and the beats over and over, silvery, suspended. I'd grin like a creep from Kingsland to Grafton, face all moony under the white light. It's the best thing I've ever made...."

Read it in full here. And this is why we need better public transport in Auckland.

And it's strange watching how many people want to talk about Lorde in various online forums, she has this wonderfully polarising effect, like all great pop music. Right now it's important to be seen to have an opinion on her, even if you have no significant engagement with popular music in its current contemporary form. It's certainly not dull! Watch this girl make moves.

Oh yeah, and this: Lorde - "If I'd granted every sandwich chain and skincare brand and coming-of-age blockbuster use of my songs, I'd probably be a millionaire. But I'm extremely fussy. A while ago I watched a clip of Patti Smith (eternal queen of cool in my eyes) relay this thing William S Burroughs had said to her. He said, "Build a good name for yourself, because eventually that will become your currency."

1 comment:

Vicky said...

If anything, she's a sign that the NZ education system isn't as crap as it's made out to be. I'm floored at how articulate and pre-possessed she is (and in a realistic still-a-teenager-who-hangs-out-with-their-mates kinda way, not a scary homeschooled kid way). Good on her, it sounds as if she knows exactly what she's doing.