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Lorde Drops Surprise EP Sung In Maori

Lorde
Ophelia Mikkelson Jones*

Lorde

But wait, there’s more. Lorde, fresh from releasing her third studio album Solar Power, has dropped a surprise companion EP, cut entirely in the Māori language.

Arriving Thursday (Aug. 9) with little fanfare, Te Ao Mārama features five tracks from Solar Power, with assists from veteran New Zealand singers Bic Runga and Marlon Williams.

“Many things revealed themselves slowly to me while I was making this album, but the main realisation by far was that much of my value system around caring for and listening to the natural world comes from traditional Māori principles,” she explains in a message to fans. “There’s a word for it in te reo: kaitiakitanga, meaning ‘guardianship or caregiving for the sky, sea and land’. I’m not Māori, but all New Zealanders grow up with elements of this worldview.”

As a Kiwi with a global platform, Lorde is fully aware of her status as a role model, constantly repping her homeland.

In making “an album about where I’m from,” she continues, “it was important to me to be able to say: this makes us who we are down here. It’s also just a crazy beautiful language— I loved singing in it.”

All proceeds from the new EP will benefit the NZ charities will go to NZ-based charities Forest And Bird and Te Hua Kawariki Charitable Trust.

Following its release Aug. 20, Solar Power peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard 200, No. 2 on the Official U.K. Albums Chart, and No. 1 on the ARIA Albums Chart.

Stream Te Ao Mārama below