After two-and-half years away, the New Zealand star un­veils new ma­te­rial in LA.

Q (UK) - - Contents -

Civen Lorde hadn’t per­formed in pub­lic for al­most two-anda-half years, her first show ahead of the re­lease of hugely an­tic­i­pated sec­ond al­bum Melo­drama next month was al­ways go­ing to be some­thing of an event. That it took the form of a sur­prise gig in a tiny bar in front of just 300 peo­ple, made it a re­mark­able one. Hav­ing an­nounced the show at Pappy & Har­riet’s on the out­skirts of LA only hours pre­vi­ously on Twit­ter, the New Zealand singer emerged just after mid­night on 15 April to de­liver a star­tlingly in­ti­mate 12- song set that mixed a Q&A ses­sion with the au­di­ence, re­cent re­leases Green Light and Li­a­bil­ity, and pre­vi­ously un­heard new track Sober. A daz­zling two-part suite about the com­bined thrill of a new hook-up alongside trep­i­da­tion for the next day’s fall-out, Sober’s first half com­bined syn­the­sized brass stabs, a ro­botic vocoder and galloping elec­tronic beats while the sec­ond built from mourn­ful pi­ano into a surge of strings and two-step rhythms. If, as Lorde re­cently revealed, Melo­drama loosely fol­lows the nar­ra­tive arc of a night out, Sober sounded like the evening’s peak. The fol­low­ing Sun­day at Coachella, pro­duc­tion val­ues were a bit more high-rent, with the singer per­form­ing alongside – and sometime in­side – a gi­ant plas­tic box filled with dancers look­ing like a flash­mob in a fish tank. Turn­ing the con­fi­den­tial at­mos­phere of two days ear­lier into a mass com­mu­nion, the likes of first al­bum hits Roy­als and Ten­nis Court were joined by an­other brand-new track, the icy Home­made Dy­na­mite, be­fore Lorde closed with a eu­phoric ren­di­tion of Green Light’s thun­der­ing pop-house. Lorde’s 2013 de­but, Pure Hero­ine, was re­leased when the singer was just 17 – its acutely ob­served snap­shots of teenage life sold more than five mil­lion copies and led David Bowie to de­clare her “the fu­ture”. From the stage at Coachella, the now 20- year-old de­clared Melo­drama would be about “the ups and downs of be­ing a 20- some­thing.” Given what she’s shared from the record so far, the fu­ture would seem to be hers for the tak­ing.

Heads­down: Lordeat Pappy & Har­riet’s , 15 April, 2017. Lorde almighty: (main pic and from left) singing out­side the box, Coachella Val­ley Mu­sic And Arts Fes­ti­val, 16 April, 2017.

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