“Feels so scary getting old…” Lorde sang on her artfully blasé 2012 debut Pure Heroine. She was 16 then, but life doesn’t sound any easier on new single “Green Light”.
The titular metaphor refers to the moment one feels freed from a bad breakup. In a hushed yet haughty preamble, Lorde taunts an unfaithful ex with flat, self-indulgent barbs: “She thinks you love the beach, you’re such a damn liar.”
When flapping synths circle Lorde’s voice, the song finally bottles the brooding, youthful valour that made her a household name, only to pour it over a delicate house-piano riff.
Troubled thoughts stack up, even as “Green Light” flings itself into skirt-twirling euphoria. Lorde’s assiduous phrasing isn’t a natural fit for house music, but every bellow of “I wish I could get my things, and just let go” casts a long, upsetting shadow.
A last-minute surge of handclaps, scuzzy guitar, and reverb-drenched chants make this an ideal progression from Pure Heroine’s electro-chamber pop. Anyone older than Lorde knows adulthood isn’t that scary, but for now, her growing pains are our gain.