Lorde, the pop singer, is back with her first single in four years, “Solar Power.”
The song is about the empowering feeling of being in the sun and the way that nature has the ability to affect your mood. It may feel like an odd first pick after four years of radio silence, but it fits perfectly into the narrative Lorde has crafted during her career. Her last album, Melodrama, ended with Lorde singing about how she was going to “disappear into the sun.” Four years later, she emerges from the rays of the sun feeling like “a prettier Jesus.”
The single is not just a possible contender for the song of the summer, but also a song that literally feels like summer. With a soft and slow beat and lyrics that beg to be sung as loud as possible in a car full of friends with the windows rolled down as you drive to the beach, it’s hard not to sing along with Lorde (and Phoebe Bridgers and Clairo who are on backup vocals) about the whimsical beauty of a beach day. The desire to forget about the world’s problems, throw your phone into the water, dance in the sand, and soak up all sunshine — that’s the power of the sun.
In the chorus, Lorde encourages listeners to “forget all of the tears that you’ve cried” because the past season is over and “it’s a new state of mind.” Following a dark year of pandemics, environmental disasters and other catastrophes, Lorde’s joyful single is a breath of fresh air and a bit of a surprise. The singer is not known for her upbeat, optimistic views of life. Rather, her sad songs tend to focus on the negative emotions and experiences of relationships, growing up, and feeling insecure. Her newfound optimism is needed as society transitions out of dark times into, hopefully, a happier and brighter world.
No release date for the upcoming album, also titled Solar Power, has been announced yet. Until then, we can just soak up the sun while listening to this on repeat.