“The drink you spilt all over me”
Westernised post-millennial teens have things as easy and tough at the same time. They’ve grown up in a world in which the Internet makes information and friends ubiquitous. Where from the glow of a smartphone they have access to an educator, entertainer and to groups of friends that can fill any lull in their real-world relationships. However that ubiquity comes at a price; for maintaining their status on these virtual worlds is a 24/7 job that creates a pressure on these young minds unlike anything any other generation has seen before. They can never switch off, they have to be seen to be doing something, they have to take part in all the conversations with their peers, it’s expected practise and it never ends.
Whether these conversations are about Call Of Duty tactics, which member of One Direction they like best or something that adults would consider to have a little more substance; it’s a constant loop of stress which hyper-accelerates their assimilation of the given subject matter and it’s this which explains how a mid-teen from New Zealand wrote a song as beautifully sad as “Ribs.” How she discovered Broken Social Scene, fell in love with one their most adult songs (“Lovers spit left on repeat”) and why at the tender age of 15 she’s scared of “getting old” and why she’s having the sort of exhausted existential crisis normally reserved for those who have had a bellyful of working the 9 to 5 grind.
This repetition is mirrored in the economical stanzas, which are used for both verse and chorus in a remarkably affecting way that belies Lordes relative inexperience. It’s this mature song-craft at such a tender age that singles out Lorde as the first great pop-star of the post-millennial generation.