Lorde Brings Melancholy to Her Melodrama Tour

Oracle hosts the dream-pop sensation.


Photo by Krists Luhaers

Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor, better known to the world as Lorde, burst onto the international music scene with her smash hit “Royals” when she was only 16, making her the youngest artist to achieve a No. 1 single on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 since 1987 and winning an entry on I magazine’s most influential teenagers list.

But even then, Lorde was no newbie to the entertainment world, having cut her teeth as a child actor and singer in her native New Zealand. The languid but captivating dream-pop melody that propelled “Royals” up the charts is typical of Lorde’s work. She lent the haunting voice and ethereal rhythms to the Hunger Games film soundtrack, giving that science fiction dystopia an off-kilter ambience that felt both distantly detached and grippingly immediate. 

Lorde is on a North American tour to mark the debut of her second album, Melodrama. Like her earlier repertoire, the moody Melodrama is a nebulous concept album that follows the many small dramas and explosions that happen concurrently within a single house party. The album delves into themes of desolation and loneliness, drawing on Lorde’s personal experience and her recent break-up with her longtime boyfriend. She turns to using glitchy staccato beats to express the eternal human need for meaningful connection. Tuesday, March 13, 7 p.m., $39-$78, Oracle Arena, 7000 Coliseum Way, Oakland, OracleArena.com.

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