Like the sun breaking through the clouds, Lorde’s new single, “Solar Power,” is here after a dark few years without new Lorde music (never mind a bit of a confusing release that involved the song reportedly leaking on streaming in multiple countries). “Solar Power,” which Lorde first teased on her website on June 7, finds the New Zealand pop musician once again teaming with Melodrama producer Jack Antonoff, along with tapping fellow singer-songwriters Phoebe Bridgers and Clairo for some backing vocals. It’s a sunny, acoustic-driven song about a good day on the beach, as the cover art teases (“My cheeks in high color, overripe peaches,” she sings), before culminating in a bridge reminiscent of George Michael’s “Freedom! ’90.” The “Solar Power” music video finds Lorde frolicking among a crowd of beachgoers — dancing, playing chess, sipping drinks, dancing on a floating platform in the ocean, and generally living her best life. Altogether, it’s easily one of Lorde’s happiest songs to date, after the performer previously told fans that “good things came out. Happy, playful things,” when she began recording music for a third album in December 2019. As if a new Lorde song alone wouldn’t be something to be happy about.
But this isn’t just a new Lorde song. In an email to fans released with the single, the singer-songwriter revealed that her upcoming third album will also be titled Solar Power. “There’s someone I want you to meet,” Lorde wrote, explaining the new era. “Her feet are bare at all times. She’s sexy, playful, feral, and free. She’s a modern girl in a deadstock bikini, in touch with her past and her future, vibrating at the highest level when summer comes around. Her skin is glowing, her lovers are many. I’m completely obsessed with her, and soon you will be too.” Lorde went on to describe Solar Power as “a celebration of the natural world, an attempt at immortalising the deep, transcendent feelings I have when I’m outdoors,” and said the single is “about that infectious, flirtatious summer energy that takes hold of us all” during that season (while reminding fans that it’s actually winter for her right now in New Zealand). She also teased “a truly comical amount of detail” in the album rollout — possibly taking a note from her numerology-inclined friend Taylor Swift — and noted that “Solar Power” came out on a solar eclipse. “You can look to the natural calendar for clues,” she wrote. “I’m trying to listen to what’s out there more, and the vibe I got was that you’re ready for this, that you need it.”
This post has been updated throughout.