“I’m kind of over getting told to throw my hands up in the air. So, there,” proclaims Lorde, the sixteen year old Kiwi nymph over the droning thumps that accompany nearly every track on her debut album, Pure Heroine, which hit American shores (and veins) this month. She’s a paradox and she wants us to know that. Lorde’s voice, when heard sung from her angsty pedestal marks a refreshing turn for pop music. An ironic combination of self-presentations couldn’t come from an American, yet makes perfect sense to us. However, I feel like I’ve met this exact type of sensation before. Oh that’s right, she sounds exactly like another alt-pop queen.
Lest we forget the pavement that Emily Haines of Metric laid down nearly eleven years before Lorde was even a link to Soundcloud in your Gmail’s inbox. In fact, the singer from New Zealand was only six years old when Metric’s first album came crashing in from Toronto. Haines has given us her mixture of sultry and militant vibes for six full-length albums with her band and two on her (vastly more orchestral) own.
Little miss Lorde is picking up the crown.
So what’s the connection? Not only do the two women remark on a world that they see but have never touched, but both deliver their stance on popular culture with the same angelic inflections, the type of voice that sounds like it’s coming from inside of a subtle smirk. They “get it,” do you get it? While Haines made her mark on alternative music in 2003 by screaming to the world that “…tits out, pants down, overnight to London, touch down, look around, everyone’s the same” was as fun a lifestyle as it was bleak, Lorde reminds us ten years later that not much has changed as the world is still “…jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash,” and yet, “we don’t care, we aren’t caught up in your love affair.” ‘Cause she’ll never be royal. It’s this very fuck you-ness, cloaked and soaked in simple contentment that connects the bridge between the two songstresses. Like mother like daughter, I guess.
And ya know what, there’s of course room for both of them. The more the merrier. Both Emily Haines and Lorde deserve their moment, but let’s acknowledge the lineage here. Let’s put them on the same playlist.
Who else can we place in this timeline? There must be more of them… “The Anti-diva Divas.” I smell a hashtag coming…