Victory’s Contagious – Lorde

You’ve probably heard of her. Award winning new artist. Young. New Zealander. Lorde.

I found her through Pandora, when it started working Royals into my playlists. But I’ll get back to Royals. It’s what I’ve encountered in the rest of her music that makes me want to talk about her.

She’s swept music by storm, and I have a few thoughts about why. If I were to sum it up at first here, it’s because the music is so smart. No, there’s a better word. It’s wise. Wise beyond her years. She’s 17. And at the age, she has the potential to become to voice of a generation – or to become the next fallen icon. But let’s take some time getting there!

Maybe the Internet Raised Us…

In preparing for this post, and listening to Lorde’s Pure Heroin a whole bunch of times, I’ve been trying to think of a term to describe her. And maybe the term is conscious innocence. As in, she knows she’s young. Knows that things are going to get more “real” (whatever that really means…) in the future, but that for now, the simple life is hers. 

She sings a lot about bruises, dreams, and clean, white teeth. Simpler sorts of observations, about life, about people. She’s drinking orange juice. It’s childhood and adolescence. But it’s like she’s got the age and wisdom to be reflecting back on it and reminiscing, while also being right in the thick of it.

There’s also the talk of fame. There’s plenty of times where she calls out the rich, the powerful, the famous. She speaks truth to power. The ridiculousness of modern stars. Their excesses. 

However, she juxtaposes this with talk of her own rising fame and stardom. She talks about her impending first plane ride, about how she still likes hotels – something she recognizes may well change as she starts to travel and perform. 

Here’s some of her lyrics, to show what I mean:

Lorde Lyrics

Her songs describe the cusp of stardom, the end of adolescence and innocence, and do so in a way that expresses such self-understanding that it’s easy to see why she has captured the imagination.

All Work and No Play…

However, is that all it is? I wonder. Do people just love her because she’s saying things that not only sound true, but feel true?

Or, when she’s calling out the powerful and the famous, are some of these people waiting for the hypocrisy?

We see so many young stars who end up falling into the worst habits of stardom: the drugs and alcohol, the stupid stunts to prove they’re someone else other than the young star we once knew and loved. Think in recent years of Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Bynes, Miley Cyrus, and Justin Bieber. Okay, maybe not loved with these stars, at least not for me… but you get the point. They fall apart.

Are we watching Lorde because we’re waiting for her to fall? Or at least, are some people? Is the media, maybe, especially?

And after singing so much about it, wouldn’t Lorde’s fall just be that much the worse? But the thing is, it seems like she sees it. She sees the risk, the danger. It’s there in the lyrics. Will she change? Will she give in to it?

I don’t have the answers. Listening to the music, I don’t think Lorde knows. I guess it’s wait and see.

We’re Bigger Than We Ever Dreamed…

So we’re back to Royals, I think. This song encapsulates all that I’ve said, the simplicity of the life that Lorde is coming from, and the life of luxury of the stars whose ranks she’s joining. It encapsulates everything she’s saying, and thus was a perfect first single.

It has all the features of a one-hit-wonder, as well. Catchy tune, memorable chorus – the sort that you work on trying to memorize and figure out, so you can sing along. And different in sound from other songs on the album.

If this is all you’ve heard of Lorde, you’re missing out. There’s more. And it’s good. I really hope this is an artist we’ll be listening to for many, many years to come – that she holds to her ideals, that she keeps being wise beyond her years. 

I definitely recommend checking out her award-winning album, Pure Heroin! But what do you think about Lorde? Let me know in the comments below!

@compgeeksdavid blogs at Sourcerer about music and comics. His main blog is Comparative Geeks — you can check out his other work there!

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5 Ways to Find New Music

I’ve been recommending music so far here and it’s been a lot of fun to talk to people about music. And while some people have known some of my recommendations, not everyone knows all of them, which is good! I hope that keeps up in a good way. I know I have already made music purchases based on recommendations I’ve gotten from others!

So of course from the title you know, I’d like to suggest a few of the places where I’ve found new music over the years. All of this excludes the most obvious ones, I suppose, which are recommendations from friends or, say, bloggers!

I’d love to know some of your recommended places or ways to find new music as well, so make sure to add to the conversation in the comments below!

The Radio

Yes, yes, that’s what it’s for. Music radio is there to sell you music, at least in part. This is one of the most direct ways to find music, but not necessarily the best way to find the best music.

I say that because the radio tends to only play singles. And while many singles are great, often, other songs on albums are a lot musicnotebetter. And, many albums are best listened to whole – hearing one song just doesn’t give you a good sense of it. Also, focusing on singles might have you looking at singles only when you buy music – something iTunes lets you do, fair enough, but that doesn’t help you find very much music, or at least not very quickly!

However, I feel the need to mention this method, because it is on the radio that I heard “Two Against One” from the album Rome, sung by Jack White (which caught my interest) and produced by Danger Mouse – which, finding this out led me down a road which has led to many of my favorite music purchases – certainly my favorites of the last several years!

So some of the secret is finding a radio station you really like, or that does a good job of playing a lot of music. For instance, in Denver I listened to channel 93.3, and it’s great. Oh, and thanks to the Internet age, and services like iHeartRadio, you can listen to channels like this anywhere! Which I do.

Guitar Hero and Rock Band!

I don’t think they’re making these games as much as they were for a period of time, but there are others like them as well – dance ones or whatever. I found a lot of bands I didn’t know about, or had missed, through Guitar Hero. Rather than just focusing on singles, they were focused also on songs that had good music, good solos or skillful playing. 

That means it was great for finding what a band sounds like, what they are aiming for with their sound. It’s also a way to find a variety of music, by artists you may never have heard of. I think also that “playing” the songs is a good way to connect with them, guitarheroto enjoy them more. I have a soft spot for many songs from those games, and when I hear them play, it reminds me of good times, spent with friends.

One trap they laid with some of the later games was the ability to buy more songs, individually or in packages of, say, songs by an artist. Some of the problem with this is that if you’re spending more and extra money on the content, you’re likely only going to get music you know and know you’ll like – so it doesn’t help you learn new music! Just an observation!

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