A million pop singers tried to be moody like Lorde, so she got happy on them. “Solar Power,” her first new single since 2017’s Melodrama, flips the script as surely as summer overturns winter. It’s a soft-touch anthem for the season’s simple pleasures: Warm sun, warm sand, a boyfriend who will take your picture for the ’gram, and the impunity to turn down plans you weren’t excited about anyway. “So sorry, I can’t make it,” she ad-libs—friends, if Lorde ever says this to you, it is a damn lie. She’s at the beach.
And like a great beach hang, “Solar Power” is a place for high-powered talent to kick back: The bass and guitar come courtesy of Jack Antonoff; the drums are by esteemed session player Matt Chamberlain; the backing vocalists include Clairo and Phoebe Bridgers. More importantly, “Solar Power” is featherweight, full of air. Lorde’s got “no shirt, no shoes,” and no service, because she chucked her phone in the ocean. “I’m kind of like a prettier Jesus,” she quips, the onion-ring respecter nodding to another niche meme. Summer stretches out before her, limitless. “I see green, aquamarine,” she sings: the colors of the sea, of swimsuits, of mojitos and gemstones and envy. The sun is out; FOMO is back. Welcome to Lorde season.