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Lorde Reveals The Initial Response To ‘Solar Power’ Was ‘Really Confounding And At Times Painful To Sit With’

Last summer, Lorde released Solar Power, her third album that was more polarizing than her previous two LPs, which received near-universal praise. The album strayed from the more pop-leaning sound of Lorde’s previous albums and achieved less chart success, as it only managed a peak at No. 5 in the US, worse than 2013’s Pure Heroine (No. 3) and 2017’s Melodrama (a chart-topper).

Lorde now says that as the album was making its way out into the world, the initial response to it was jarring for her. In an email newsletter sent to fans yesterday, Lorde wrote:

“It’s been a year since I announced the release of Solar Power. I can honestly say it has been the year with the highest highs and lowest lows I think I’ve ever experienced. It took people awhile to get the album — I still get emails every day from people who are just coming around to it now! — and that response was really confounding and at times painful to sit with at first. I learnt a ton about myself and how I’m perceived by making and releasing this album, and I feel significantly more connected and alive in my art practice and life than pretty much ever before. Sounds dry but it’s true!!!”

She went on to describe the album as one “that gets made between peaks,” saying, “I was sitting with a friend recently drinking chai at a country house in England, she’s an artist too, and we got on to the topic of the album somehow. She said, it’s clearly one of those works that gets made between peaks, the kind that’s necessary for makers sometimes, no less precious, in fact, there can’t be peaks at all without such works. I think this is true of the record. I needed to go low, to roll a neon ball through tall grass and see what happened. Playing songs from SP live each night in what is undoubtedly my best live show ever is also an incredible feeling — it all makes sense there, both to you and me, in a new and vivid way. And thanks to SP, I’ve been able to work through some big personal stuff that was making it pretty difficult for me to do stuff like travel or play shows without getting completely overwhelmed. I used to sit alone in my hotel room on show days, binge watching Bake Off, Ambien and Vitamin D on the bedside, my skin pale, my stomach knotted in fear. These days, I’m out the door in every city, walking for miles, eating gelato after dark, finding tiny wine bars, trying on vintage clothes down secret streets, laughing with friends, and playing better and better shows for you as a result. So yeah. Thankyou for all of it.”

Check out the full email below.