Lorde was this weekend’s cover story in the New York Times Magazine. She’s just twenty years old and there are big, big expectations for her second album. No pressure, right? And I had no idea she had synesthesia. Turns out that was a big factor in writing songs for this record,
Lorde, the New Zealand-born pop star, came into the fire-lit lounge of her downtown Manhattan hotel a few minutes past 11, apologizing for the lateness of the hour — funny story, she said. She’d been commuting daily to a Greenwich Village recording studio, plugging away at new music, but today U2, who had reserved the space, arrived and commandeered it. Lorde found a smaller studio available farther uptown, and though the move was inconvenient, she saw the humor in being inadvertently evicted by Bono — it was just one more marker of how strange her life has been since she became famous, four years ago, at 16. “I actually saw the Edge in the gym here,” she said with a grin. “I thought about saying something, but I decided, Nahhh.”
A late-winter blizzard was forecast to blow into town that night, and Lorde was dressed for the cold in pointy black boots and a voluminous Chloé overcoat whose wool folds hung around her like a midnight-colored cloud. Her hair fell to the collar in waves, and the overall effect, in the light of the fireplace, was of an extremely chic witch ready for a night of haunting. She’d sent me a message earlier on, hinting at some unspecified adventure: “Will txt you when i get out of the studio. i want to take you somewhere.” Now, boots clacking, she led me around the corner and into an elevator, where she fished a stubby key from her pocket. “We’re going out a secret way,” she said, turning a lock on the wall.
Lorde owns a house in Auckland, where she grew up, but for the better part of the last year she has been living at different hotels around New York, trying to finish her second album, “Melodrama.”
Read the whole thing here.