It’s been three years since New Zealand native Lorde released her debut studio album Pure Heroine. It followed shortly on the heels of The Love Club EP, the release that first put Lorde on our radar with the Billboard chart-topping and Grammy-winning hit “Royals,” quickly catapulting the teenager to super-stardom. So what’s next?
The Kiwi singer-songwriter’s been hinting for the last year on her social media accounts that her hotly anticipated sophomore album is coming soon, even claiming that the album name is picked out. Here’s what we’re hoping to hear on the new album when it comes out.
Lorde’s first album was all her, which made sense for a brand-new artist on the scene. But in the years since Pure Heroine’s release, she’s proven she doesn’t have to be “dancing in a world alone” in order to make music she’s proud of. Collaborating on Disclosure’s song “Magnets” gave her a reason to surprise and delight fans with a performance at Coachella this year and she recently co-wrote the single “Heartlines” with fellow New Zealander duo Broods.
In the last year, she mentioned “crushing it” at work with friend Jack Antonoff via Twitter, and posted a picture of Harley Streten, aka Flume, on Instagram — leaving us to hope that we’ll see cross-pollination with some of her talented peers on the album to come.
…Specifically with Kanye West
But let’s be honest: we’d mostly really love to see more of Lorde and Kanye teaming up. Ye’s 2014 remix of Lorde’s Hunger Games soundtrack single “Yellow Flicker Beat” was a hit that indulged their well-documented mutual admiration for one another and indulged our fantasies about a seemingly odd, but actually quite compelling musical relationship.
Yes, things could get messy here on a relational level, considering that Kanye has had a complicated history with Lorde’s famous chum Taylor Swift — and Swift isn’t exactly the person most musicians would want to cross. But maybe her potential ire could be overcome in the name of seeing her friend Ella create even more really dope music? It may be a long shot, but we’re crossing our fingers anyway.
To be clear, we’re looking forward to new Lorde originals. After all, her songwriting — which began in earnest at the ripe age of 13 — is a big part of what makes Lorde so noteworthy in the first place. Combining poetic lyricism and a moody ambience, her original tracks have inspired YouTubers the world over to perform their own versions of her tracks since she first burst onto the international scene.
That said, we’re looking forward to any covers she may have up her sleeve, too. She took on the daunting task of honoring David Bowie at the BRIT Awards this year with a performance of “Life on Mars?” and killed it, while her cover of “Swinging Party” introduced her peers to American punk favorites The Replacements. James Blake, Nirvana, Tears for Fears and, yes, Kanye have all gotten the Lorde treatment, too. The combination of her great taste and unique vocal signatures make her the perfect artist to translate old sounds for a new generation, so we’re hoping Lorde will keep the cover trend going with her newest release.
In the end, no one knows exactly what’s coming from our favorite teen music icon, maybe not even the wild-maned girl herself. But as she tweeted back in December that she was “feeling quietly excited about 2016,” we’ll follow her lead and trust that there are good things in store.