“Solar Power” is the latest single from New Zealand singer-songwriter Lorde (Ella Yelich-O’Connor) after a five-year hiatus from music. “Solar Power” is an upbeat summer pop lead single from Lorde’s upcoming third studio album of the same name. “Solar Power” was written and produced by Lorde along with well-known singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer Jack Antonoff.
The song was originally announced on Lorde’s website with the message: “Patience is a virtue”, but was leaked a few hours before its release, after already being pushed forward from its original release date on the 20th June 2021. The song also features backing vocals from two other famous artists – Clairo and Phoebe Bridgers. Speaking to Genius.com about the song’s meaning:
“…the first of the rays. 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 but I know that’s literally IMPOSSIBLE for you all to wrap your little heads around so don’t worry about it!!).”
Lorde wrote the song while visiting her friend Cazzie David on the coast of Massachusetts, and wrote the song on a Yamaha DX7 keyboard, bringing the demo to Antonoff later for further work. Initially, Lorde believed the song sounded too alike to Robbie Williams’ infamous 2000 single “Rock DJ”, but was then informed of its similarities to “Loaded”, a 1990 song by British band Primal Scream. Lorde went ahead and contacted the band’s manager to Bobby Gillespie to clear “Solar Power” with him. Speaking to DJ Zane Lowe, Lorde spoke about Gillespie’s reaction to “Solar Power”:
“He was so lovely about it — he was like, ‘These things happen, you caught a vibe that we caught years ago.’ And he gave us his blessing. So let the record state: ‘Loaded’ is 100% the original blueprint for this, but we arrived at it organically. And I’m glad we did.”
“Solar Power” has been compared to George Michael’s iconic 1990 song “Freedom! ’90!”, which led to George’s estate to make a statement on the song:
“We are aware that many people are making a connection between ‘Freedom ’90’ by George Michael and ‘Solar Power’ by Lorde, which George would have been flattered to hear, so on behalf of one great artist to a fellow artist, we wish her every success with the single.”
The music video was released alongside the single on the 10th June 2021 on Lorde’s YouTube channel. The video was directed by Lorde and Joel Kefali. The video shows Lorde as a leader of a solstice cult, living on an island, which was later confirmed to be Waiheke Island. Speaking to Triple J, Lorde said about the video: “we built literally basically a universe on a secret beach. The first video is me introducing you to the world of the album and the videos, I play a kooky tour guide almost. In a little over 2 weeks, the video has over 15 million views and 522 thousand likes.
The album artwork for “Solar Power” sparked controversy across many media outlets. The image was a photograph taken by Lorde’s friend Ophelia, with the photo showing Lorde’s buttocks. In some countries, the album cover has a sun flare hiding the aforementioned area.
Release Date: 10th June 2021
Songwriter/s: Ella Yelich-O’Connor & Jack Antonoff
Producer/s: Lorde & Jack Antonoff
Music Video Release Date: 10th June 2021
Music Video Director/s: Lorde & Joel Kefali
Chart Rankings: Since its release, “Solar Power” reached the following peak chart positions:
– #14 in Australia
– #22 in Canada
– #77 in the Czech Republic
– #26 on the Billboard Global 200
– #11 in Ireland
– #11 in Japan
– #36 in Lithuania
– #99 in the Netherlands
– #2 in New Zealand
– #48 in Portugal
– #64 in Slovakia
– #54 in Sweden
– #95 in Switzerland
– #17 in the UK
– #64 on the US Billboard Hot 100
– #6 on the US Billboard Hot Rock & Alternative Songs
– #37 on the US Billboard Rock Airplay
– #43 on the US Rolling Stone Top 100
The lyrics to “Solar Power” can be accessed here.
Listen to “Solar Power” on Apple Music.
Listen to “Solar Power” on Spotify.