Could New-Zealand pop-singer Lorde have picked a worse time to release a new song? Right around the same time the Internet was having a full-fledged Beyoncé freakout (myself included); the 17-year-old was covertly releasing a new-track. All the hyperbolic phrases like "pop visionary" or "icon" were absent. We didn't have any high-profile guests like: Drake or Jay Z to fuss about. Instead, Lorde delivered a slice of unassuming melodic pop.
And "unassuming" is a near-perfect descriptor of what Lorde's aiming for on non-album single "No Better." The synthesizer part shimmers without ever blinding. And the bass while booming never threatens to drown out Lorde's shy coo during the verses. Subtlety is the guiding force, and Lorde confirms it in the line "can feel the subtle taste of the Dtalk groan and the locker room where we stayed." Almost every line she delivers is couched in the specific, but her eye for detail doesn't spoil relatability. A coy recollection of "I'm chewing gum and it's killing you," could apply to any number of young lovers cooped up during the cold days of winter; goofing off. The hook of "go all the way, have your fun, have it all, this will take you down, get through the days, do your thing, do it well," delivered in a velvety tone as an electronic clatter kicks in becomes a mantra. Beyoncé may very well be the queen, but who can really relate to royalty?
"No Better" is out on iTunes now, and Lorde's excellent debut release Pure Heroine is still on the shelves.