Lorde has gifted fans with a new record today, and it also marks a significant moment in her own journey as an artist and as a New Zealander.
Today, she’s released Te Ao Mārama, a five track EP that serves as a companion effort to her new album, Solar Power. As a record on its own, Te Ao Mārama has its own beauty to it, and features voices of artists including Bic Runga and Marlon Williams.
Though Lorde herself is not Māori, she’s acknowledged that her journey in learning more about the indigenous language and culture of Aotearoa (New Zealand) is one she is invested in. Seeking the advice and mentorship from a series of Māori language experts, artists and translators, as well as some people in her close circle, Lorde was able to bring new brevity to five tracks from Solar Power.
Lorde broke it down further in an interview with New Zealand publication The Spin Off, where she and her collaborators spoke at length of the genesis of the EP.
“I’m white – however you want to interpret me wanting to engage with our Indigenous culture, that’s fair enough.” she says.
“I totally accept that, because it is really complicated. This isn’t something where I have both feet on the ground – I am a little bit out of my depth, and I’m the first to admit that, and I’m opening myself up to any response to this.”
Opening up to her fans through her newsletter blast today (September 9), Lorde noted that she found a particular sense of connection between Solar Power and many traditional Māori views. It was important for her to share.
“I know I’m someone who represents New Zealand globally in a way, and in making an album about where I’m from, it was important to me to be able to say: this makes us who we are down here.” she says.
“It’s also just a crazy beautiful language – I loved singing in it.”
You can listen to the Te Ao Mārama EP below.