Lorde incited awe and envy among those of us who look back on our teenage writing and realize that not even the best producers around could morph it into a song that wasn’t direly embarrassing, let alone make it into a strikingly thoughtful meditation on the nature of adolescence. She made Pure Heroine when she was just 16 years old, and now, at 20 (today’s her birthday), she’s readying another album — and freaking out (in a very contemplative manner) on Facebook about the social emphasis placed on the transition between decades.
She discusses her yet-unnamed album, as well as that first LP. Pure Heroine itself boasted a startling amount of perspective about adolescence — particularly for someone still in the midst of it — and in her Facebook message, she shows a equal amount of perspective…about the perspective of the album. She writes about that stage in her life:
I was 16 when most of us met. Can you believe it? I laugh thinking about that me now – that glossy idiot god, princess of her childhood streets, handmade and ugly and sure of herself. All my life I’ve been obsessed with adolescence, drunk on it. Even when I was little, I knew that teenagers sparkled. I knew they knew something children didn’t know, and adults ended up forgetting…Since 13 I’ve spent my life building this giant teenage museum, mausoleum maybe, dutifully wolfishly writing every moment down, and repeating it all back like folklore. And now there isn’t any more of it… Pure Heroine was my way of enshrining our teenage glory, putting it up in lights forever so that part of me never dies.
She talks about life following Pure Heroine, forgetting her very early celebrity and getting out of the album release cycle enough to retreat inward a bit, and having a “colossal” last year in which she “maxed out every single emotion” — which she then reveals will be the subject of her upcoming album:
My heart broke. I moved out of home and into the city and I made new friends and started to realize that no-one is just good or bad, that everyone is both. I started to discover in a profound, scary, blood-aching way who I was when I was alone, what I did when I did things only for myself. I was reckless and graceless and terrifying and tender.
She says she’s working on the record about all this, now, in New York, and also says that the lyrics are the “best she’s written in her life.” These paragraphs weren’t some lead up to a sudden, surprise-album drop: she says realistically it won’t be ready “tomorrow, or even next month.”