Lorde has found a new inspiration for her music.
While sitting down with Beats 1/Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, the 20-year-old singer-songwriter opened up about having her “first proper year of adulthood” and writing heartbreak-inspired music for her newest track “Green Light.”
“The song is actually about a heartbreak,” Lorde says about the song she released Thursday, after having “been a couple years” since she’s put out any new music. “And it’s not something that I really am used to writing about.”
“It was my first major heartbreak,” she continues of her split, reportedly from ex James Lowe. “And the song is really about those moments kind of immediately after your life changes and about all the silly little things that you gravitate towards.”
Don’t let the happy melody fool you. Though the song appears to be upbeat, Lorde says, “the lyrics are so intense, obviously.”
“I was like, ‘How come this thing is coming out so joyous sounding?’ And I realized this is that drunk girl at the party dancing around crying about her ex-boyfriend who everyone thinks is a mess,” she says. “That’s her tonight and tomorrow she starts to rebuild. And that’s the song for me.”
“Everyone has that first year that feels like the first proper year of adulthood,” she says about the influences on upcoming sophomore album Melodrama, as opposed to her debut, Pure Heroine. “I moved out of home and all of a sudden I was figuring out, ‘Who am I when I’m alone? Who am I when I’m doing things just for myself?’ And I feel like you can really hear that on this record.”
“It’s amazing actually listening to this body of work and being like, ‘Wow, that is that year of my life in all of its glory and disgusting…’ All the gross moments, all great moments,” she continues. “It’s really special for me to listen to.”
But when Lorde ventures back to her native New Zealand, she can get back to being a kid—with no stress, worries or care in the world.
“We’re from New Zealand, and you can just be like ‘I’m gonna go back down that end of the world’ and everyone’s like ‘I couldn’t reach you if I tried,'” she says about where she hides out when she’s summoned to the studio. “I literally put myself in a way no one knows how to get me, and just dived off the grid and it was wonderful.”
“I didn’t come back to this part of town for a while and it was good for me I think,” she continues. “It’s crazy when you are so young to be spending all your time in L.A. or New York. I think it can kind of f— with you if you’re a kid.”