NEW YORK (AFP) - In one of the most anticipated returns in pop music, Lorde unveiled a new song on Thursday (March 02) in which the onetime teenage star takes a new dance sound and adult look.
The now 20-year-old New Zealander announced a second album called Melodrama, her follow-up to 2013's Pure Heroine, which won her phenomenal success while still a teenager.
Lorde released the album's first single, Green Light, which is driven by a strikingly more lively beat than her Grammy-winning breakthrough hit, the minimalist Royals.
Green Light starts off with a sullen piano as Lorde, appearing to explain a breakup, sings: "I do my makeup in somebody else's car / We order different drinks at the same bars."
The track quickly heads in a dance direction, with the piano backed up by a driving bass-line, a back-up chorus and a subtle electronica beat.
"Oh, I wish I could get my things and just let go / I'm waiting for it, that green light, I want it," she sings.
In an accompanying video, Lorde shows up at a nightclub, singing to herself in the mirror of a bathroom where a pianist performs in the corner, and hailing a car as she eventually hops on its roof to dance.
Lorde, announcing the release on Twitter, called the song "very different, and kinda unexpected." "It's complex and funny and sad and joyous and it'll make you DANCE," she wrote.
Lorde worked on the song with Jack Antonoff, best known as the guitarist of fun. and the frontman of Bleachers.
Lorde's label said Melodrama would come out sometime in the coming months. She is scheduled to play a series of upcoming festivals including Coachella.
The artist born as Ella Yelich-O'Connor has been writing songs since age 13 but has managed to avoid the tabloid headline-generating lifestyle that is notorious among child stars.
She has said that she deliberately cloistered herself to concentrate on a follow-up to Pure Heroine, which sold more than three million copies in the United States.