Ella Yelich-O’Connor, famously known as Lorde, is a Kiwi singer and songwriter. In 2013, at the age of 17, she released “Royals” as her debut album and it became an international hit. The song spent 23 consecutive weeks at number one, which is already a big deal, but the fact that she was relatively unknown makes this an even bigger deal. She went on to release her first album “Pure Heroine” in 2013 and her second album “Melodrama” is set to be released later this year.
The beat is pretty consistent throughout the entire song. There are slight variations here and there, but for the most part the same beat (sounds kind of like snap clap) repeats throughout the entire song. The only time you cannot hear the beat is before Lorde starts the chorus. When the chorus is about to start there is a brief pause. Personally, I like this seeming lack of activity in the melody. First of all, I think that it was an interesting choice for Lorde to make. I think majority of the pop songs you hear on the radio today has a lot going on musically, which people like because the goal is to get people to love the song and want to dance and sing along to it. A fair assumption to make about a song that doesn’t seem to have a lot going on is that it’s boring, and no one wants to listen to boring music let alone dance to it. The danceability of a song is pretty important, as can be seen by the countless club mixes made for popular songs. I also think that the song not being so busy highlights Lorde’s voice.Her voice just fits so perfectly with the song that you won’t even notice that the beat repeats itself for pretty much the whole song unless you are paying really close attention.
Lorde’s voice is kind of hard to describe in general because its so unique. Its kind of a contradiction of detached, throaty, and soft but strong. I also love how she annunciations specific words while holding others it makes for a very interesting and unique sound. Even as early as the first three lines of the song she is using that delicate balance, “I’ve never seen a diamond in the flesh/I cut my teeth on wedding rings in the movies/And I’m not proud of my address“. The backup vocals also add depth to the sound. When she sings the words “Royals” and “Ruler” you can actually here the backup vocals.
This song is very fun to listen to fully, but when you break it up and analyze each individual part its even more fun and interesting. I strongly recommend listening to the song both ways to get the full experience. I found that when I listened to the whole song first, then just the instrumental, then just the vocals, and then the whole song again I got a new perspective of the song. Lorde is a very talented artist and that fact is really showcased in the song.