It was Elvis Costello who said “you have 20 years to write your first album and you have just six months to write your second one.” Well, New Zealand pop queen Lorde had just 16 years to write her first, and has taken a spotlight hiatus of almost two years to write her second.

Melodrama‘, her highly-anticipated follow-up to 2013’s groundbreaking ‘Pure Heroine‘, finally has a release date (June 16), and as is tradition, with the new album launch comes the revealing Rolling Stone cover interview.

Now 20, the artist born Ella Yelich-O’Connor told Rolling Stone that her early introduction to fame was “fucked.”

“Now I can look back and be like, ‘That was fucked. All of it. Fucked. Insane’,” she said. “But everyone’s so crazy when they’re 16. I think if you tell a 16-year-old that they’re going to Mars – ‘We’re gonna get on a rocket and go, and that’s going to be your life’ – they’d be like, ‘OK, like, that’s all well and good, but I’m doing this thing by myself right now, and that’s what’s important.’ Everything kind of normalised week to week.”

Jack Antonoff, lead singer/songwriter of Bleachers, Lena Dunham‘s boyfriend, and producer of ‘Melodrama’ said that fame proved a huge challenge for Lorde when it came time to write the follow-up.

“Her first album was all about being this kid,” he said. “When your entire life changes, and you’ve built your career on being honest with your perspective, how do you continue to [find ways to relate]? It’s near impossible.”

young hustler onset

A post shared by Lorde (@lordemusic) on

Basically, Lorde wrapped up her tour at the end of 2014 and bailed home to Auckland, reconnecting with old mate and trying to figure out how the album would sound. She recorded the thing in Antonoff’s home studio in NYC, but that often had “freak outs” that there was just no way to follow-up ‘Pure Heroine’.

“There was a real hit of like, ‘I just don’t have another one’,” she said. “It could never be good enough.”

At one point, one episode was enough that she was “bounced” back to New Zealand for a month to reconvene. But in the end, they managed to create something that Rolling Stone describes as a post-breakup album, “one about the moments that come next, the party where you have the freedom to cry alone in the bathroom or to explore the contours of someone new.”

And if the first two singles are anything to go by, this one’s going to take the world by storm. ‘Green Light‘ is hands-down one of the best tracks of the year, and ‘Liability’ is a melancholic ballad that connected Lorde’s experience of fame with the universal feeling of failing people around you by the pure reason of being.

“That was very important,” Antonoff said of ‘Liability’. “It opened up a big space, which was ‘OK, there’s a way that you can talk about all of these things that have changed, and it’s not going to put you on an island.’? … Everyone feels like a liability to their friends and family sometimes.”

‘Melodrama’ is out June 16 so get ready – and have a read of the full interview HERE.


Photo: Lorde / Instagram.