I really like Lorde. I think her skills as a performer and singer as a teenager are truly extraordinary and I think her song Royals sums up the existential angst of Gen Y in a unique enough way to classify it as a generational anthem.
The property boom many middle class Gen Y NZers were grown in always provided the fruits of consumer culture with a toy gadget upgrade guaranteed each and every Christmas. The promise of ever increasing prosperity built a bubble that ruptured with the bleak cold reality of the 2007 crash. Suddenly there wasn’t any new upgrades and it marked the first time middle class kids felt that comfort threatened. Depleted employment opportunities and low wage prospects dimmed the promise of tomorrow and sparked an existential angst that Lorde articulates in brilliant depth and emotion.
Her and Joel Little’s Grammy win is an incredible achievement but their art has given voice to the sense of loss and empowerment for a generation that will resonate well past the award.