Single Review: Lorde – Solar Power
Caitlin Barr reviews Lorde’s latest single, Solar Power.
Just in time for hot girl summer, Lorde’s new single Solar Power has hit streaming platforms. The first track from the upcoming album of the same name was released to coincide with 2021’s only solar eclipse, and has a distinctly hippy vibe, with the music video leaning heavily into cult vibes. Men and women in beige kaftans and shorts perform what look like yoga routines on the sand while the singer skips around in bright yellow and declares herself ‘a prettier Jesus’. Some have morbidly compared it to Ari Aster’s 2019 flick Midsommar, but to me it’s just the perfect articulation of a summer aesthetic with what is perhaps a wry comment on the singer’s obsessive fanbase.
Eschewing modern day expectations for celebrities to be always available to their fans via social media, Lorde had not posted on any of her platforms (apart from her onion ring review account, naturally) for over 3 years until she came back with promotional images for the new album in June. She alludes to this in the song itself, singing ‘I throw my cellular device in the water/Can you reach me? No, you can’t’. Lorde’s break from releasing music clearly allowed her to mature as a writer and artist, with Solar Power erupting to mark her new era as queen of summer playlists.
As one of the most highly anticipated releases of the past few years, Solar Power had a lot of expectations placed on it, not least by people like me who rely on Lorde to soundtrack each new phase of our lives. It truly delivers, providing a fresh sound from the artist while also containing her trademark skill for witty and relatable lyrics. Lorde’s ability to read the mood of an entire generation is uncanny – from Ribs’ ‘It feels so scary getting old’ to Solar Power’s ‘I hate the winter, can’t stand the cold/I tend to cancel all the plans’.
The song itself is glorious, begininning mellow, then transforming as Yellich-O’Connor’s soft voice soars over backing vocals by none other than alt-darlings Clairo and Phoebe Bridgers in a jubilant crescendo.
After over a year of being stuck inside, missed opportunities, cancelled plans, nerve-wracking headlines and social isolation, Lorde invites us to feel the sun on our skin and let warmth back into our lives: ‘Forget all of thе tears that you’ve cried/It’s ovеr’. I’ll be playing Solar Power all summer long.