BY HAYLEY GAULT
as Ella Maria Lani Yelich-O’Connor, has been making waves with her no nonsense and stylishly minimal new album Pure Heroine. Hailed as the bearer of a new brand of contemporary teen pop, she is not afraid of voicing her opinions, be it in interviews or through her lyrical accounts of teenage life, love, boredom and anxiety.
Reminders of her young age occasionally surface through the album, ”my mum and dad let me stay at home”, yet her confident voice is making critics sit up and take her seriously. The influence of The XX, Lana Del Rey, and even Kanye West come through in track ”Team”; her brand of electro, bass and sultry spoken word have adults and teens alike queuing up to be part of her exclusive gang of ‘us-against-the-mainstream’ friends. With her defiant lyrics she is wholly resistant of the ‘Disney’ generation. Instead she is the epitome of teenage disillusionment, both capable of outspoken honesty while at the same time giving nothing away.
Throughout the single ”Royals”, she provokingly lists the clichéd and unrealistic expectations that are placed on young people by the American media machine, ”every song’s like gold teeth, grey goose, trippin’ in the bathroom…”, even audaciously referring to herself as ”Queen Bee”, pitting her own pop sensibilities against those of powerhouse Beyonce. In the same breath, track ”400 Lux” details the inevitable routine of a young relationship, where there is nothing to do but kill time.
The only danger of her stripped back style is that the album can get monotonous, bar the highlights of ”Royals”, ”Tennis Court” and ”Glory and Gore”, her melancholy murmurs can become samey. However, this debut album is effortlessly refreshing and cool, we can only hope the teen deigns us with even more angsty wit in the future.