Lorde. The Love Club EP.
Universal Records, 2013
Lorde is a New Zealand teen and musician, on her second EP now, The Love Club EP. Australia and New Zealand have had their moments in the sun as music powerhouses, and seem to be reclaiming that title with Lorde and other new artists that are shockingly good (but receiving woefully little US attention). Lorde’s technical genius and vocal skill are hard to describe- beautiful, and enhanced- not overdone- with some manipulation, which is a rare thing, in my experience. Her voice is crystal clear but has depth and tone as well, like one of those independent jazz songstresses of yesteryear. The lyrics tend toward simple, and there is a heavy use of backup singers and body-as-instrument sounds, which give the album authenticity. The album itself is well done and a great sound, especially when you consider the age of the singer and song writer. It’s a break from what Ear to the Ground typically does, but Lorde is a skilled new artist that might be of interest to anyone who enjoys the occasional different style.
Bravado has a melange of choral song and techno beats fused into a song that simply feels like quiet strength, reverberating through your years and uplifting your spirit with its clarity. Following this sound and keeping true to the solid beginning is Royals, with a slightly more vocal forefront quality, and added complexity. Million Dollar Bills may be over-produced for US folk ears, but to anyone who enjoys European house or Southern hemisphere club music, it seems normal and is at least well done, not a half-hearted attempt on poor machinery. In the title track, vocals again stand in as the major musical component other than synthesizer. It’s an up-beat, happy drone of a song, with lyrics that have more substance than you notice the first listening. Diverging from the rest of the songs on the EP is Biting Down. In this track, there is heavy modulation and effects, with more instruments than any other song. The result is an edgy, doleful tune with an undercurrent of electronica influence more so than the others.