It’s a strange time to release an album about the beauty of the natural world, especially when there’s wildfires blazing across the Mediterranean and heatwaves in Siberia and Canada. But then you remember that Lorde is in New Zealand, a country so remote, so peaceful that it’s no wonder the pop star was inspired to write Solar Power, her most stripped-back and airy album to date.
A tribute to mother Earth, Solar Power is Lorde’s first full-length release since 2017’s Melodrama. Produced by longtime collaborator Jack Antonoff, the album is like a sun-drenched trip with sweet melodies and softly acoustic sounds. Lorde previously described it as “a great weed album”, and with dreamy harmonies from the likes of Phoebe Bridgers and Clairo, it certainly lives up to expectations. Imbued with early-noughties romance and beachy optimism, Solar Power is a quietly beautiful record built for escapism.
Elsewhere, Palmistry drops his highly-anticipated third record, Kam-Bu releases a striking debut EP, and Lil Lotus swelters with Web 2.0 nostalgia.