The first taste of Lorde’s highly anticipated second album has finally arrived: The Pure Heroine singer dropped “Green Light” Thursday afternoon. She also shared the song’s video, directed by Grant Singer, who most recently helmed the clip for Taylor Swift and ZAYN’s “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever,” and revealed her next album will be called Melodrama, out this summer. (See its artwork below.)
Lorde premiered the song on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 Radio show and said that she worked on “Green Light” and the entire next album with frequent collaborator, fun.’s Jack Antonoff. “We’ve spent 18 months every day together working on this recording in his house. We wrote the song together,” Lorde said. For “Green Light,” they teamed up with a “wonderful boy wonder Frank Dukes,” she says. “[He] came in and gave us the little drum break.”
When asked what the song is about, Lorde told Lowe, “The song is actually about a heartbreak. And it’s not something that I really am used to writing about. It took me a while to be able to figure out how to write about that. It was my first major heartbreak. And the song is really about those moments kind of immediately after your life changes and about all the silly little things that you gravitate towards. I say, ‘She thinks you love the beach, you’re such a liar.’ What the f–k, she thinks you like the beach?! You don’t like the beach! It’s those little stupid things. It sounds so happy and then the lyrics are so intense obviously. And I realized I was like, ‘How come this thing is coming out so joyous sounding?’ And I realized this is that drunk girl at the party dancing around crying about her ex-boyfriend who everyone thinks is a mess. That’s her tonight and tomorrow she starts to rebuild. And that’s the song for me.”
The walk-up to Lorde’s new music has been years in the making. Heroine, an enthralling account of life as an outsider, came out in 2013 and fans have been clamoring for more since then. Last fall, on the eve of her 20th birthday, the New Zealander posted a note to her Facebook, revealing plans for the follow-up . “I want nothing more than to spill my guts RIGHT NOW about the whole thing,” she wrote, “I want you to see the album cover, pore over the lyrics (the best I’ve written in my life), touch the merch, experience the live show. I can hardly stop myself from typing out the name. I just need to keep working a while longer to make it as good as it can be. You’ll have to hold on. The big day is not tomorrow, or even next month realistically, but soon. I know you understand.”
Lorde began teasing “Green Light” earlier this week with short video clips and on Wednesday, she revealed the name of the song, as well as what it represents. “[I]t’s the first chapter of a story I’m gonna tell you, the story of the last 2 wild fluorescent years of my life. this is where we begin,” she wrote on Twitter. “[I]’m so proud of this song. it’s very different, and kinda unexpected. it’s complex and funny and sad and joyous and it’ll make you DANCE.”
After the song premiered, Lorde revealed the album name and its cover.
She is slated to perform at Coachella and Governors Ball Festivals this year.