Lorde dropped her latest single 'Stoned at the Nail Salon' in the early hours of Thursday morning and immediately her fans leapt into action carefully dissecting the lyrics.
The release of the newest track from her upcoming album Solar Power also came with an email to those signed up to her newsletter featuring a few behind-the-scenes snaps and a lot more context about the song.
The 24-year-old said she wanted to write about the "two sides to her life", explaining: "I've been trading the tour bus for the grocery store line over and over since I was sixteen."
After finishing her world tour for Melodrama, Lorde returned home to New Zealand and a relatively normal life. Eventually she became worried that she was no longer "a titan of industry", but rather someone who just "cooked and walked the dog and gardened".
The Grammy winner revealed 'Stoned at the Nail Salon' was borne out of being anxious she was "over the hill" and that the next round of precocious teenage performers might be about to "eat her lunch".
Devotees of the singer took these revelations - along with their own encyclopedic knowledge of Lorde's back catalogue and past interviews - and set to work analysing her latest set of lyrics on the website Genius, where contributors can add annotations to each line.
Here are some of the best fan lyric insights so far:
Got a wishbone drying on the windowsill in my kitchen / Just in case I wake up and realise I've chosen wrong
"The physical shape of a wishbone, with two arms forking from one centre, mirrors Ella's feelings in this song, having to choose between a life as 'a titan of industry' and as someone who simply lives for herself. As she stated in her email, this song is about her realising, 'as hard as I try to run towards or away one of the sides of my life, they're both very much who I am' - like a wishbone, both of these paths emerge from one singular entity, and are linked in some way. So, if she ever thinks she's chosen the wrong life, this wishbone helps her realize that she's always Ella, no matter which life she's currently living."
I love this life that I have / The vine hanging over the door / And the dog who comes when I call / But I wonder sometimes what I'm missing
"This is a bittersweet sentiment since her dog, Pearl, passed in late 2019 due to health complications. She could have changed the lyric after the death but most likely chose to stick to it to better enforce the sense of uncertainty in the song. And perhaps, pose another question of whether she really loves the life she has or not."
Well, my hot blood's been burning for so many summers now / It's time to cool down / Wherever that leads
"Lorde said in her latest letter to the fans that she had been running from the New Zealand winter two years straight, going to the USA.
[She wrote:] 'I've kind of run away from winter in New Zealand for the past two years which is NAUGHTY OF ME I KNOW IT HAPPENS FOR A REASON but I'm in such an endless summer state of mind and can't resist'."
'Cause all the beautiful girls, they will fade like the roses
Maybe I'm stoned at the nail salon / Maybe I'm just stoned at the nail salon again
"The fact that she's 'stoned at the nail salon' could imply two things:
On one side, these thoughts she's having and everything she's reflecting on can be just a product of the drug consumption. She isn't thinking clearly and the memories she mentioned just come and go because she's high.
But on the other hand, many fans have pointed out that the whole song feels like the second part of her track 'Ribs'. In the Pure Heroine teen's anthem, 16-year-old Ella expressed her fears about growing up and the bittersweet side of her adolescent years while living them. Now in 2021, she has grown up and she's taking care of herself at the nail salon. But although she's happy with her life away from the media, she's still scared of the future.
Got a memory of waiting in your bed wearing only my earrings / We'd go dancing all over the landmines under our town
"On Melodrama's 'The Louvre', she mentions half of her wardrobe being on her lover's floor. This perhaps is reminiscent of that time, or all the times before it where her innocent and oblivious self didn't have questions or reservations about whether or not she's made the right decision with the path she's taken for her life."
"The act of dancing over landmines indicates both thrill-seeking and the romance of treading the edge of danger.
This line is also reminiscent of Melodrama's 'Homemade Dynamite', in which she is 'blowing shit up with homemade dynamite' with her friends."
Cause all the music you loved at sixteen you'll grow out of / And all the times they will change, it'll all come around
"Pure Heroine was released when Ella was 16 - either she's speaking to her fans, who longingly await for a Pure Heroine 2, that she's grown out of this phase
"She's reminiscing on a former lover, and how the times have changed so drastically, they're no longer who they were at sixteen."
"I think this also acknowledges both herself and her fans both as listeners/enjoyers of music, that our tastes change, and the fans that loved her earlier music might have outgrown her, which i think links back to what she said in her email: 'I was starting to fall out of step with the times culturally, I didn't have my finger firmly on the pulse for the first time in my life...'."
Solar Power is due to be released on August 20, 2021.