Exactly two months after the release of Melodrama, Lorde’s gone back to the studio to reimagine six of the album’s songs. The VEVO session, held at Electric Lady Studios in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, let Lorde and Jack Antonoff “take the songs out of this little comfortable house that [they] go to every day” in favor of exploring their roots.
But this session isn’t just a simplification of the songs: It’s an exploration. The stripped-down tracks give insight into how the songs were built—and though the new tracks are easily recognizable, the differences are just as obvious, from the newly emerged choral emphasis to the sparse instrumentation and lack of computer effects. The focus on vocals is refreshing—Lorde’s voice, already distinguishably husky, is granted more space, as are the background vocals that previously melted into the mass of instrumentation.
The videos’ primary result is a feeling of playful femininity, camaraderie; Lorde mentioned that her songs take on traditionally young female emotions, and watching several of the videos, you can see that in how she dances, in how she and her backup singers move with each other, especially in the videos for “Hard Feelings” and “Homemade Dynamite.” Her goal, she said, is to “make music that sounds like the inside of a heart.” The new tracks succeed most when she has other women singing at her side: those are the freshest and most imaginative recreations.