From dates and tracklists to signed vinyl, here are all the deets of Lorde's new album
She's also just announced her first Australian / New Zealand tour for years, as 2021 blossoms into the year of our Lorde.
Header image by Ophelia Mikkelson.
It's been a big week for Lorde stans.
Whispers of her forthcoming third album - the hyped and well-overdue follow-up to the famed Melodrama - have been circulating for a while now, seemingly solidified back in Autumn as her name began to dot festival lineups like Spain's Primavera Festival. Then, became cryptic clues that eagle-eyed fans began to piece together, before two weeks, the third coming of our Lorde arrived in the form of Solar Power, a somewhat divisive and stripped-back returning single that carried more of an indie-folk sound, compared to Lorde's typical melodramatic pop.
We've sat with Solar Power for 11 days now, and the conversation online seems to still be split, albeit admitting that it's more of a grower - the song building in popularity as it continues to be revisited by people eager to give it a second shot. The big question, however, is whether the rest of the album - also titled Solar Power - will be of a similar ilk, or whether it will be the 'red herring' that Green Light - a big, dramatic pop song - threw us before Melodrama, which was a far more subtle and intimate album compared to its lead single.
As it turns out, we're not going to wait long to find out. Today, Lorde announced that her third album Solar Power will arrive on August 20th. There's been a lot of information come out at the same time, so here's a quick guide to bring you up to date with all things Lorde as we enter her next era:
As the album was officially announced, it became available for pre-order online, exposing the tracklisting on sites like Apple Music. There are two versions of the album. The first - the standard edition, featuring the meme'd cover art revealed a few weeks ago - features 12 tracks, while a deluxe edition with a different cover art includes 14 tracks. The album - as it seems - includes no features, not that we were really expecting any from Lorde.
Stoned at the Nail Salon
Secrets from a Girl (Who's Seen It All)
The Man with the Axe
Leader of a New Regime
Helen of Troy
Hold No Grudge
The Cover Art:
Yes, the official cover is the butt photo, the same one that has been meme'd to the moon and back over the last two weeks.
In saying that, fans have been quick to scope out that the deluxe edition in fact has an alternate cover, which you can check out below:
What's the album about? What's it going to sound like?
Details on the forthcoming record have been tight-lipped, and after the curveball thrown at us in the form of its lead single, who knows what Solar Power will sound like. In a press statement accompanying the album's announcement, however, she begins to unravel the lyrics and meaning of Solar Power, and teases what we have in store.
"The album is a celebration of the natural world, an attempt at immortalizing the deep, transcendent feelings I have when I’m outdoors," she says on the record. "In times of heartache, grief, deep love, or confusion, I look to the natural world for answers. I’ve learned to breathe out, and tune in. This is what came through."
It sounds like it's going to be a bit of a brighter album, but who knows at this point.
The Tour Dates:
If you were up early this morn', you would've found a tonne of tour dates arriving just as Lorde announced Solar Power, with the musician to make her return to the live stage next year. They're intimate shows, she tells us, but there's plenty of them, so you should be able to catch her pretty easily if you've set an alarm to grab tickets.
The Australian and New Zealand dates are the ones we know you're here for, and they're first up off the rink. They run from February to March next year, with pre-sales beginning of June 28th, before the full general release sale commences on July 5th. Find all the dates below:
View this post on Instagram
Can I grab a CD? How about the vinyl?
So here's the thing. The 'physical release' of Solar Power is a bit strange. With the album's connection to the environment, Lorde is adapting a more environmentally conscious approach to releasing Solar Power, choosing not to print the record on CD for that reason. Instead, we're getting something called a 'Music Box', a disc-less, eco-friendly approach to a CD release, specifically designed for this album to reduce its carbon footprint. Each Music Box will include visual content, handwritten notes, exclusive photos and a download card; the card being a gateway for access to the album, two exclusive bonus tracks and other “special surprises” to be announced later.
"I decided early on in the process of making this album that I also wanted to create an environmentally kind, forward-thinking alternative to the CD," she says. "I wanted this Music Box product to be similar in size, shape and price to a CD, to live alongside it in a retail environment, but be something which stands apart and that’s committed to the evolving nature of a modern album."
There are, however, vinyls of the record coming out. There's a couple of different variations of the album, and you can find most of them on her Australian store. There's some signed vinyls there too, but they sold out before they were even formally announced; snapped up by international fans as we were fast asleep. We'll let you know if they get updated with more stock, however. There's also a JB HiFi exclusive vinyl printed with a stunning golden marble colour, and a few others that are dotted throughout international retailers.
Did the album announce come with another infamous newsletter?
You betchya. Lorde's infamous email newsletter is making a return for her new album roll-out, but this time around, it's been dubbed a "Solar Institute bulletin", with plenty more on the way. You can read the full, latest newsletter below:
Greetings my babies, and happy solstice.
For those who don’t know, the summer solstice is the day when the Sun charts her longest course through the sky. It’s the longest and most light day of the year. Cultures have celebrated the solstice for thousands of years— with singing, dancing, ceremonies, fires, and feasts. It’s a day to toast fertility and hope for plentiful harvests. It’s one worth celebrating.
And what better way to celebrate than with an EXTENSIVE DETAILS BULLETIN? (I’m joking, please go outside after reading this). I have so much to tell you. This is the first official bulletin from the Solar Institute, by the way. These may come every week or two weeks, depending on how I feel.
Firstly, thankyou for your sweet vibes on SP. I’m glad you like it. On release morning I went up Ōwairaka, not far from my house — I wanted to be outside. This is from the minute before the song launched.
I had friends round that night, my girls brought me yellow flowers, I drank a really delicious mezcal and felt happy and cozy. It’s kind of an insane feeling having music out again. I can feel people staring at me when I go places. I’m getting really good tables in restaurants all of a sudden. It’s very amusing to me that to so many people I was dead, and now I’m alive!!!
Anyway. I have some major shit to announce so I gotta keep this moving.
The album comes out August 20. It contains 12 songs and 2 bonus tracks.
It’s available for preorder/presave/whatever it’s called NOW. We have made some absolutely sensational vinyls for you guys that you will be able to go and get the day the album comes out, no waiting for you, oh no! They’ve waited long enough, I told my team, shaking my finger (really, my team told ME, because I live basically on a different planet and need to be reminded of real-world parameters constantly!!)
There’s a beautiful standard vinyl with a sky-blue disc, and a very juicy deluxe vinyl only available on my site with the sickest giant foldout poster (you get the bonus tracks with this, on a super cool 7-inch picture disc). No CDs this time. I didn’t wanna make something that would end up in a landfill in 2 years, but more than that, I wanted to make something that symbolised my commitment to asking questions of our systems, and making stuff with intention and sensitivity.
I’m calling it a music box. It’ll be the same size and shape as a CD, and you can buy it where CDs live, but this is something totally different. If you’re torn on which hold-in-your-hands, flip-through-the-pages thing to buy to best enjoy this album, honestly, I’d go for the music box. You’ll know more about this very soon.
Onward we go!! No time to waste! More information to deliver! Didn’t I say this was gonna be a big one!
I’m also announcing THE SOLAR POWER TOUR.
This is gonna be such a sick tour. We’ve just hired five new band members............... This is, thrillingly, something of an INTIMATE TOUR. Theatres and green fields rather than arenas. So you gotta get in there if you really wanna go. I’m gonna send a special mailing-list-only code to you on Wednesday that’ll ensure you beat the scalpers to our dance party. I’ve been told to tell you that pre-sale for the UK, Europe & North American shows starts “this Thursday, 10am local time” (no idea what this means). New Zealand and Australia, your pre-sale starts next Wednesday the 30th.
The rumours are true — I’m not gonna be returning to social media this cycle, outside of the occasional temporary post, I guess. Being off social media makes me feel incredible — we can talk more about that another time — and I’d love to maintain feeling that good, and also build this really cool new zone with you guys. I want this bulletin to be our special spot. I see it as being part news bulletin, part diary, part old-school fan site. In time I’ll post interviews with people I admire, random photos of my garden, meandering thoughts on myriad concepts, backstage tour pics, recipes, etc etc etc etc etc. I know it’s a different sort of pace to what you’re probably used to, and much more long-form, but I’m looking forward to retraining our brains together :-)
I’ve also decided to create a zone where we can chat. I realised people were replying to these emails asking how I was doing, what I was up to, etc. Which is very sweet! And I’d love to write back! In a move borrowed lovingly from the Opulent Tips newsletter, I’ve decided that if you’re still reading this, you’re probably a sensitive cutie who worships the sun (SCWWTS). I look forward to answering a question or so per bulletin from other SCsWWTS, continuing to chat with the freaks I know and love, and making the acquaintance of many more!
Okay. That’s it for now. Drink a big water. Go outside.
Take another dive into Solar Power below, while you wait for more information to come: