The moment so many Lorde lovers had been waiting for arrived on Thursday night, with the official announcement of her third album, Solar Power, and the downright tropical music video for its title track, out now. It’s been a bumpy rollout, with leaks forcing Lorde’s hand at seemingly every turn, but the singer/songwriter’s sunny new disposition would suggest she’s just glad fans are now seeing the light.
The artist born Ella Yelich-O’Connor detailed her new record in an email to fans, describing it as “a celebration of the natural world, an attempt at immortalising the deep, transcendent feelings I have when I’m outdoors.” She notes that “Solar Power” was “written and produced by myself and Jack [Antonoff],” adding, “It’s about that infectious, flirtatious summer energy that takes hold of us all, come June (or December, if you’re a Southern Hemisphere baby like me).”
Lorde co-directs the “Solar Power” video—a beachier, less frightening Midsommar—alongside Joel Kefali, who made her first-ever music video (for her breakout hit “Royals,” of course), shooting in her native New Zealand. “My best mate Ophelia took the [album] cover photo, lying on the sand as I leapt over her, both of us laughing,” she notes in her email.
Lorde is at her breeziest on “Solar Power,” quoting A Tribe Called Quest and boasting, “I’m kinda like a prettier Jesus” in the chorus. The acoustic guitar-driven track has drawn comparisons to both Jack Johnson and George Michael (“Freedom! ‘90” in particular), and you can also hear some Sheryl Crow (“Soak Up the Sun,” natch) in there. Phoebe Bridgers and Clairo contribute backing vocals—the latter just announced a new album of her own, Sling (July 16), with Lorde returning the background vocals favor on lead single “Blouse.”
Concluding her email, Lorde says of Solar Power, “I want this album to be your summer companion, the one you pump on the drive to the beach. The one that lingers on your skin like a tan as the months get cooler again.”
Watch the “Solar Power” video below and see the album art further down. (No tracklist yet, meaning Lorde likely has some more surprises up her non-sleeves.)
Solar Power Album Art: