Like a refined Charli XCX, she mixes strong pop vocals with production styles from forward-looking genres.
Many 16-year-old singer songwriters would kill for a spot on The X Factor, but Ella Yelich-O’Connor, aka Lorde, is already having her songs covered on New Zealand’s version of the TV talent show. Girl group Gap 5, mentored by All Saints’ Melanie Blatt, performed her song ‘Royals’ on the latest series. That track is missing from this EP, but there’s more than enough here to see why she’s already doing so well. Like a refined Charli XCX, she mixes strong pop vocals with production styles from forward-looking genres. ‘Tennis Court’ could easily be a Lana Del Rey cut, with the drawled line “It’s a new artform showing people how little we care”, but it’s lifted by a load of chopped and screwed “yeah”s. ‘Biting Down’ has a wobble of bass and clean, clipped drums, and ‘Bravado’ builds and builds with a booming choir storming in over some glassy Grimes synths. Lorde is a chart star for a time when acts like Disclosure and Rudimental are managing to challenge Emeli Sandé and co for the top spot.