Lorde: 'going off grid' in New Zealand helped me write second album
Lorde says laying low in her hometown helped her come up with her impending second album and today's single release, Green Light.
The singer told LA-based Beats 1 DJ Zane Lowe that she had decided to go back home to New Zealand from the US to "step back" from that lifestyle - and said she intends to live in New Zealand in the long term.
"You can be just 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 explained in an interview for Apple Music. "I literally put myself in a way no one knows how to get me. And I just dived back off the grid and it was wonderful."
Lorde said spending too much time in New York and Los Angeles when young can "kind of f-- with you if you're a kid".
She namechecked Auckland bars Peach Pit and Golden Dawn as places she enjoyed spending time at and said she had a year of "reflecting on the dichotomy of my life" between the US and New Zealand. "But just generally, every time I go home I am so pleasantly surprised that nothing has changed with the people I love and the place where we live.... I know I'm gonna live there a long time."
In another interview with radio station ZM, she said it was about the joyful feeling of realising you're going to be OK after a break up.
"It is totally a song about heartbreak, but it's interesting, I've never been very good about writing songs about relationships or whatever, and this song, it is about that but it's kind of more about finding yourself through that situation," she said.
"You go through this thing and it's so awful, and you just wish you could let go, and the green light thing is kind of like, 'I'm not OK right now, but I'm going to be OK, and that green light of finally being OK is going to feel incredible,' and the reason the song feels so joyful is it's about that feeling of when you finally realise you're OK, you've moved on, you've got your own thing going on and you've got your own life, and it's the best feeling."
Lorde broke up with her boyfriend of three years, James Lowe, in 2015, but it's not clear if this is the break up she's referring to.
She said the single, which has been released after a week of treasure hunts, cryptic videos and hype, was something of a "curve ball" in the context of her upcoming album, which will be called Melodrama.
"It is really different, and it's interesting, the album is very diverse. The whole album definitely doesn't sound like Green Light, that's kind of a curve ball I would say, but I loved it as the first thing that people would hear, it's just so weird and cool," she told ZM.
Green Light has a very different sound to the tracks Lorde's debut, Pure Heroine, and the singer told ZM she'd initially had trouble breaking out of the Pure Heroine mould.
"When I first started writing for a new project I was writing a lot of stuff that sounded like Pure Heroine, and I think that happens to all artists, you have to get the last record out of you before you make anything new.
"For so long I thought, 'Oh, what if I can't make it sound different, I've got to make it sound different,' and it just kind of happens, one day you're playing a bit of French house piano and you're like, 'What the heck am I doing?' But it works out."
The 20-year-old New Zealand pop sensation released the song alongside a music video directed by Los Angeles filmmaker Grant Singer.
She told Beats 1's Zane Lowe, a fellow Kiwi, that Green Light was based on her "first major heartbreak".
"It was my first major heartbreak and the song is about those moments immediately after your life changes and about all the silly little things that you gravitate towards."
Lorde acted as producer on the whole of Melodrama, which she spent 18 months making with musician Jack Antonoff.
"There was a lot of discovery that went on and then we wrote [Green Light] and I was like, 'Oh this is it,' all of a sudden everything else we had written for the album started to make sense."
She said the album was in part the story of her first "proper" year of adulthood. In January 2016 she bought her own house in Auckland's Herne Bay.
"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," she said.