Poetry and Music Pairings: Lorde Edition

Lorde fans rejoiced when her latest album, Solar Power, hit streaming services last month. As her third and most-anticipated record, Solar Power is the singer’s first release in four years—and a wildly different, more optimistic departure from 2017’s Melodrama. Like the poetry genre, Lorde continues to reinvent herself while also staying true to her art’s core qualities, including confessional, introspective lyricism. Whether you turn up Lorde’s breakup anthems the loudest or opt for her sunny beach soundtrack, there’s a poetry collection to accompany it.


Solar Power and World of Wonders by Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s World of Wonders, named the 2020 Book of the Year by Barnes and Noble, combines essay and poetry to guide readers through a natural, earthy landscape nothing short of magical. Nezhukumatathil wrote the book “in praise of fireflies, whale sharks, and other astonishments,” channeling awe much like Lorde does in Solar Power. Lorde drew inspiration for Solar Power from time spent being outdoors and chasing escapism. Likewise, World of Wonders will encourage readers to step away from screens and other modern pressures in order to marvel at the everyday beauty around them. 



Melodrama and I Hope You Stay by Courtney Peppernell 

Melodrama, widely considered Lorde’s most beloved and heartfelt album, spans the journey from devastating heartbreak to an empowered, joyful return to one’s self. In between emotional ballads, listeners get thoughtful odes to self-love and anxious, yet hopeful musings about a fledgling relationship. I Hope You Stay rides the same rollercoaster, as it begins with a painful breakup and ends with the speaker finding new love and deep personal growth. 



Pure Heroine and So Much Synth by Brenda Shaughnessy 

Lorde’s first full album, released when she was only 16, is all about unbridled youth and the anxieties associated with coming of age. In fact, the whole record can best be summed up by a single lyric on the stand-out track “Ribs”: “It feels so scary getting old.” In So Much Synth, Brenda Shaughnessy messily and honestly reminisces on adolescence, including its parties, pop culture, sacred friendships, and fleeting intimacies. 



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