Why I think Lorde’s ‘Royals’ is a generational anthem


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.


  1. IMO Lorde’s Pure Heroine was the best pop album of 2013 that I heard (I listen to lot of stuff).
    Rolling Stone have it no. 7: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/50-best-albums-of-2013-20131202/lorde-pure-heroine-19691231
    and Billboard critics have it at no. 4 http://www.billboard.com/articles/list/5840321/15-best-albums-of-2013-critics-picks
    It really is a very impressive piece of work with great melodic hooks, combined with an unusual “sound” with interesting unconventional arrangements, and, best of all, it has almost no filler tracks.

  2. This kinda buz just ain’t for us

    I hope Lorde’s song “We will never be royals” is played on high rotation on every pop and rock station for the length of the John Key’s sponsored Royal Couple tour of this country and well and truly puncture the bubble of aseptic crimpolene manufactured glamour built around the royal couple some of this glamour which John Key ahd been hoping would reflect onto to him.

    And it will reflect on him, but not in the way he may have wanted.

    With Lorde’s thematic celebration of normal lives and condemnation of celebrity culture, taking the world by storm. John Key may have called it wrong.

    As John Key greets the royal couple and escorts them around the country under the unblinking eye of the television cameras, he won’t be able to prevent himself appearing to the public as an out of touch social climber in the Basil Fawlty mold.

    John Key is probably thinking right now, that it may not have been such a good idea to invite the gilded royal couple and their adorable baby Prince George here, in an election year, after all.

    • Given the state of the Royal purse and the crumbling state of some of the residences, I think Mrs Queen may be getting around Buck House humming the tune as well 🙂

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