listen to lorde's new kate bush and rihanna-inspired piano ballad 'liability'

'A lot of teenage music is expected to sound the same. I was like, ‘You know what? I can be Paul Simon in this moment. I can be Joni Mitchell or Kate Bush.'

by Hannah Ongley
09 March 2017, 10:30pm


Sounds like Lorde's sophomore album Melodrama will be quite the emotional rollercoaster. Just days after dropping the breakup club banger "Green Light," the now-post-teen Kiwi has released a self-love piano ballad exploring her relationship with… herself. The idea for "Liability" was sparked by a song from Rihanna's own achingly expansive album Anti.

"I remember it so vividly, I was in this cab alone listening to 'Higher' by Rihanna because Anti had just come out," Lorde told Zane Lowe on Beats 1. She was thinking about how she would always be a liability to the people around her due to being one of the most famous 20-year-olds on the planet. "Whether it's having to give up a little portion of their privacy or their life becoming more difficult or whatever, it was just this moment of sadness." The song ended up becoming a "protective talisman" about self-care and spending time alone.

While we can expect to hear much about how Melodrama represents a new maturity — the piano melody on "Liability" is definitely a sophisticated surprise — Lorde stresses that she's not done growing up quite yet. "I was like, 'You know what? I can be Paul Simon in this moment," she told Zane of the stereotypes surrounding music written by young people. "I can be Joni Mitchell or Kate Bush, these people who are very young. I don't listen to 'Wuthering Heights' and think, 'that's a young person,' even though from a lyrical perspective there is this melodrama to it. I was aspiring to that level of young and old all kind of combined."

Melodrama is out June 16 available for pre-order here. In the meantime, you can maybe expect more new material when Lorde appears as the musical guest on SNL this weekend. 


Text Hannah Ongley
Image via Instagram

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