Lorde returns with first new song in four years

Just in time for 2021’s first solar eclipse, the 24-year-old pop star from New Zealand released her feverishly awaited new single, “Solar Power,” on Thursday — the first sampling from an upcoming album by the same title. “Solar Power” the song — which arrives four years after Lorde’s last LP, 2017’s Grammy-nominated “Melodrama” — is “about that infectious, flirtatious summer energy that takes hold of us all, come June (or December, if you’re a Southern Hemisphere baby like me…),” the singer wrote in an email to her fans.

Co-written and co-produced by Lorde and Jack Antonoff (Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey), “Solar Power” finds Lorde urging listeners to “forget all of the tears that you’ve cried” over a shuffling, blissed-out groove. Lorde goes on to compare her cheeks to “overripe peaches,” which she rhymes with a promise to “lead the boys and girls onto the beaches.”

Indeed, in the song’s video, which she says she shot “with friends here in New Zealand,” she wears a bright bikini top and matching skirt to frolic waterside with a bunch of pals. Emotionally, “Solar Power” registers as a shift from the gloomier material that made Lorde a teenage star; sonically it’s different too, with acoustic textures in place of the whooshing synths and hip-hop beats that defined songs like “Green Light” and the Billboard Hot 100-topping “Royals.”