We’ve all heard Lorde’s hit “Royals” a thousand times by now – this includes the various a-capella covers, parodies, and acoustic versions. While “Royals” is infectious, it is Lorde’s debut album Pure Heroine (2013) that cements her as an authentic artist in the pop industry. The album expertly invents a specific suburban landscape where we can come of age with our “heroine,” Lorde.
But Lorde’s success isn’t just for Top 40 Radio, or “white teeth teens” as she would say. Dave Grohl, best known as the drummer for Nirvana (1987-1994) and the frontman of Foo Fighters (1994-present), was recently driving his two daughters when Lorde’s “Royals” came on the radio. “I was so happy and relieved that my two girls were singing a popular song on the radio that had some substance and depth,” Grohl tells Rolling Stone, “When I first heard ‘Royals’ it was sandwiched between all of that other stripper pop… I thought, ‘Hey, this might be another revolution.” Grohl’s enthusiasm over Lorde’s substantial music being brought into the mainstream mirrors the massive success of Nirvana back in the 90s before Kurt Cobain’s tragic suicide. Amidst a culture of “Blurred Lines” and “Turn Down For What,” pop with heart and complexity is refreshing and hard to come by.
Dave Grohl decided to show his admiration for Lorde by inviting her to front Nirvana in their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction performance. Lorde was one of four female vocalists to sing with the legendary band; St. Vincent’s Annie Clark, Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon, and Joan Jett also performed. Not bad company, right? Grohl says, “there’s something about [Lorde] that represented or resembled the Nirvana aesthetic,” and certainly Lorde does hold a cool, grunge appearance. But more so than that, Lorde is a symbol for deeper thinking and engaging with one’s surroundings. As Grohl introduced Lorde to a screaming crowd at the Hall of Fame ceremonies, he remarked that Lorde provided “hope for [his] kids to grow up in an environment which is more than just superficial.” And that’s the core of grunge, after all – embracing messiness and honesty and rejecting the shallow lifestyle. We all need a little Katy Perry, but isn’t it necessary to be confronted with something more challenging in mainstream culture?
Watch Lorde’s cover of “All Apologies” at the ceremony below, and be sure to check out the other Nirvana performances of the night.
Pay tribute to Kurt Cobain – who died in April two decades ago – by rocking some grunge elements this week. You can see some easy grunge examples below! Try incorporating black tights, faded denim, leather jackets, and plaid flannels.
Quotes via http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/lorde-is-giving-dave-grohl-hope-for-the-future-of-pop-music-20140425 and http://consequenceofsound.net/2014/04/dave-grohl-on-lorde-she-represents-the-nirvana-aesthetic-amid-all-that-stripper-pop/
– Jenny Henderson