Lorde - Solar Power

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Composting queen!

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Why do her feet look fake? I can't stop looking at them!
 

Sam

he/they
Hey you. Thought I’d pop in and say hi.
Man, 2021 is a real fucking head spinner. Remember January 1st? I woke up and took a kayak out to the pontoon (paddling very gently, head very delicate). I lay down in the sun and shut my eyes — yeah, yeah, I’m a caricature of myself at this point — thinking about the year that stretched ahead. It was gonna be hard work, a big change, but nothing I didn’t want, or couldn’t handle. Covid was starting to recede — it’d all be sweet.
Fuckin sikeeeee!
The pandemic has continued to make things difficult, lonely, or dangerous for absolutely everyone in varying degrees, but outside of that, 2021 has been tough in completely unexpected ways. Being away from home at a time where the country’s struggling to contain the virus, feeling isolated from friends and loved ones there. Looking out at the country I’m in and feeling estranged from so much of what I see, and knowing it feels as estranged from me. Questioning what I’m doing and why, all the time, on an unprecedented level. Dealing with rough patches in close relationships, and feeling sensitive and emotional and reactive as a result. And missing you! The decision to step back from social media has been something I’ve really questioned through this time. I was so sure skipping the negatives (compulsive time-wasting, IV drip of dread, satisfying but hollow validation loop) would outweigh missing out on the positives (feeling like part of a community, hearing your sweet words, hitting you back) . But I’ve really, really missed you. Normally I’d be doing festivals and shows already, pinging around the world and touching your faces, so that probably contributes to the loneliness a little bit. But man. I’m trying to think about how best to balance the digital diet, in a way that feels fun and connected for me and you, but not at the expense of our attention, time or happiness.
Sorry if this is a heavy vibe! I’m surprised by it too, honestly. MUCH TO CONTEMPLATE, YEAR OF REALISING STUFF, ETC ETC.

If there’s one thing I know right now, it’s how drawn I am to the sensual, things that make me feel like I’m a person in a body on a planet, things that feel alive. If 2016 this year is the year of realising things, I want next year to be the year of friction. Physical, emotional, spiritual. I want to rub up against everything, and see how it feels.

I wanted to share some things that I’ve enjoyed in this vein these past couple months that have nothing to do with work, or Lorde. Just things Ella likes. (Just Ella Things? Jesus.)


  1. Walking 100 blocks. Lately I’ve been enjoying doing this on weekends. It’s a cool way to get an interesting cross section of multiple neighbourhoods. I go east, up park or Madison, dipping into Central Park and back out, or up the west side, 10th becoming Amsterdam, with a compulsory drift through Zabar’s. Good times.
  2. Eating a lotus paste egg yolk moon cake from Tai Pan bakery.
  3. The movie WALL-E. I might honestly do another newsletter on this, because holy shit, this movie rules.
  4. Watching American Utopia on Broadway. I don’t know why I DIDN’T anticipate how much this would blow out the cobwebs. I left hoarse and hopped up on adrenaline like a kid after a school disco. This show feels like David’s masterwork, although I’m sure to him it’s just the current stop on his long, enriching train ride. The physicality of this thing, just what you can do with a dozen bodies on a stage, is unbelievable. I said to him that every person in it feels like the star, something I remember someone saying about each character in Jonathan Demme movies. What a rare and generous gift to give, to them and to us. RUN DON’T WALK!
  5. This baking newsletter Kitchen Projects, which goes into great detail about the science of baking, and provides some lovely gifs.
  6. Finally reading BLOOD, BONES AND BUTTER by Gabrielle Hamilton. Totally delightful and gnarly and makes me want to eat at Prune! I loved the author’s New York Times piece about what running a restaurant is like in these times, also. Come back soon, Prune.
  7. Going to see the Lisa Yuskavage show. I’ve loved this artist’s work for years, but this new show was her at her JUICIEST and MOST ALIVE. Google images won’t do it justice, but look for what you can. Danielle McKinney’s work gives me a similar feeling right now, as does Owen Connors’ current show (discussed thoughtfully here).
  8. Kind of a separate vibe, but every year Aotearoa New Zealand gets all crazy over Bird of the Year. It’s a legitimate topic of national conversation, emotions run high, etc. This year I’m rooting for the Kororā! You may have seen me mention the Protect Pūtikimovement that’s taking place on Waiheke Island. The bay is home to the largest population of Kororā in Tīkapa Moana/the Hauraki Gulf, and they need all the attention they can get. Vote HERE!
More soon. I mean it when I say I think about you all the time.

Love and other indoor sports,
Ella xxxxxxxxx

Bless her, she’s so canny
 
People (including in this thread) do need to chill a bitsy. Solar Power is that cute and care-free girl. It can feel a little airey and weightless but I kind of think that’s the point? She’s got it out her system and I suspect whatever’s next will be markedly different.

The way half the forum faves would give a liver to get a single song as good as the worst song on Solar Power… like, accept it’s a passing ocean breeze and not a life raft to hold on to for dear life like another notable record of hers.
 
he/him
This album’s been cute background noise for the past few months. I struggle to have any strong feelings about it but it’s an enjoyable listen.
 
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People (including in this thread) do need to chill a bitsy. Solar Power is that cute and care-free girl. It can feel a little airey and weightless but I kind of think that’s the point? She’s got it out her system and I suspect whatever’s next will be markedly different.

The way half the forum faves would give a liver to get a single song as good as the worst song on Solar Power… like, accept it’s a passing ocean breeze and not a life raft to hold on to for dear life like another notable record of hers.

You had me in the first half sis but Leader of a New Regime better than 'half the forum faves' when said faves are Dua Lipa and Lady Gaga...literally who are you referring to nn.
 
You had me in the first half sis but Leader of a New Regime better than 'half the forum faves' when said faves are Dua Lipa and Lady Gaga...literally who are you referring to nn.

They aren’t in the half I’m talking about. So what now?

(I just kind of don’t get the weird feeling of resentment I read all the time towards the album. Is it amazing? Not really. Is it the definition of a cute girl? Sure!)
 
People (including in this thread) do need to chill a bitsy. Solar Power is that cute and care-free girl. It can feel a little airey and weightless but I kind of think that’s the point? She’s got it out her system and I suspect whatever’s next will be markedly different.

The way half the forum faves would give a liver to get a single song as good as the worst song on Solar Power… like, accept it’s a passing ocean breeze and not a life raft to hold on to for dear life like another notable record of hers.
I love Solar Power (alberm and lead buzz single), and I think time will be kind to this artistic endeavor.

But I do especially love the way she tempered the ironic cynicism of Mood Ring's lyrics with the earnestly wistful and sad melodic tone of the production. It's what keeps it away from becoming an entire parody of itself, and reminds me of Royals, Homemade Dynamite, and Green Light.
 
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