In collaboration with VEVO, Lorde performed six reimagined songs off her latest Melodrama in New York’s own Electric Lady Studios.
The performances are as raw and vulnerably bare as you’d expect from Lorde, who released an album that quickly and suddenly shocked us all into retrospect this past June. These alternate versions of “Hard Feelings/Loveless,” “Writer in the Dark”, “Supercut,” “Sober,” “Homemade Dynamite,”, and “The Louvre” coherently flow and blend into each other as parallel lives of the tracks themselves. In a behind the scenes video, Lorde remarks, “”I don’t really do, like, acoustic sessions or anything, but with this record, it had roots in acoustic instruments and live musicianship.”
A lot of scenes amongst the video series include Lorde dancing on a rooftop, in a white breezy gown, with a choir’s most moving performance. A piano inside the studio played a significant role in the making of Melodrama, having been the same one many songs were created on. “A lot of Melodrama is really about taking these kind of traditionally young female emotions – it was kind of interesting to me to take those, and amplify them and make them into something kind of transcendent,” Lorde said in the backstage clip. “And so I feel like having the girls out on the roof and making a really beautiful multipart harmony and just getting to have a sing is kind of what should have always happened with Melodrama I think, what the DNA of it is for sure.”
In a recent interview with NME, Lorde shed some light on the process of recording the album. “Melodrama’ is very much a personal statement. “The first record was ‘we’ and ‘us’. And this record is ‘I’,” she said. “The focus does close in. I think that was necessary to get to the level of frankness that’s in there.” And yet the world’s horrors seep in, mixing with the fevered feelings.It’s about contrast: really big and grand, and really tiny and intimate. Going from the personal, emotional stuff to the headlines and the web. It goes from the world to my bedroom. You’re talking about literal, out-there violence and, like, heart violence.”
Melodrama has received much critical acclaim, with the New Zealand pop star having just performed (or danced to) “Dynamite” at the 2017 VMA Awards. It’s hard to imagine what life’s been like ever since “Royals” exploded on the charts back in 2013, but if there’s one thing that holds up, it’s that there’s no place like home. “It’s cool to have gone all over the world and to know that’s [New Zealand] where I want to be,” she tells NME. No matter how long you’re away, home is always around once you realize there’s no such thing as a perfect place, something timelessly encapsulated by Lorde with the final line of Melodrama: “What the f**k are perfect places anyway?”