When Lorde wrote her inescapable hit “Royals” in 2013, she was a mere 16 years old. The too-cool-for-fools track became the mantra for teens everywhere, tired of the tropes pushed in the latest pop hits and craving reality. It was as if years of frustrations were vented in a single, ear-catching song that allowed all Top 40 listeners some relief. Her debut LP Pure Heroine followed, racking up critical and commercial success, including two Grammys, that trademarked Lorde’s brand of pop: lyrics ripped from a journal drenched in contemplative cynicism and romanticized youth.
Now 20, Lorde is ready for round two. The New Zealand-born artist just dropped the first single from her sophomore album titled Melodrama. “Green Light”, which she co-produced with fun.’s Jack Antonoff, retains the rawness of her previous material, but comes equipped with a conscious, anthemic soundscape. Anchored by a 1990s house piano riff, “Green Light” jumps around structurally until an undeniable, dance-floor-ready chorus crashes in. “'Cause honey I’ll come get my things, but I can’t let go (I’m waiting for it, that green light, I want it)” The chants make the song rave-ready and instant festival fodder, which is perfect considering Lorde is set to headline Coachella next month.
Although there’s currently no release date for Melodrama, Lorde disclosed that she co-produced the album with Antonoff, whose refined pop chops are audible in recent hits by Taylor Swift and Sia. Speaking with Beats 1 DJ Zane Lowe, Lorde revealed the song is about her first major heartbreak. The opening verse contains the lyrics, “I know about what you did and I wanna scream the truth / She thinks you love the beach, you’re such a damn liar.” Those two lines leave much to unpack. Who hasn’t watched their ex partake in activities you know they hate, all for the sake of newfound love?