New Zealand's global chart topper Lorde debuted three new songs at the Coachella music festival yesterday, in her first gig in two-and-a-half years.
The annual music festival in the Californian desert was headlined by Kendrick Lamar, Lady Gaga and Radiohead and up to 125,000 people were expected to attend over the weekend.
Lorde performed three new tracks in her hour-long set: 'Homemade Dynamite', 'Sober' and 'Sober Interlude', with her new album, Melodrama, due out on 16 June.
Lorde is more confident than ever
Lorde has evolved from pop-world outsider into a bona fide pop star, earning her a headlining spot in front of a crowd of 75,000 ahead of rap superstar Kendrick Lamar.
Opening with an intro to recent single 'Green Light', the song's lyrics of post-breakup rumours transitioned seamlessly into the opening refrain of 'Tennis Court': "Don't you think it's boring how people talk / Making smart with their words again, well I'm bored".
She asked fans to welcome new song 'Homemade Dynamite' with "the biggest f*** birthday" at Coachella.
The track is a sonic continuation of her song 'Magnets', with electronic duo Disclosure, and Lorde sang about the start of a mutual infatuation - that electrifying point that comes before "blowing shit up with homemade dynamite".
From the few songs we've now heard from Melodrama, it is clear Lorde has moved on from the observer role of Pure Heroine's parties and into the centre of the dancefloor alongside her friends, singing about drinking, dancing and taking drugs.
On a stage designed by Es Devlin, the creative director behind Adele's 'Hello' world-tour set, a translucent box was suspended behind the singer, with silhouetted dancers re-enacting typical party scenes within. Starting with the awkward small talk, by the time another new song 'Sober' got its debut, the party had turned into a messy jumble of limbs on the floor.
can we do this forever please and thankyou pic.twitter.com/thwxNjN5u5— Lorde (@lorde) April 17, 2017
Throughout her performance Lorde ran across the stage, joining the dancers inside the box in between moments of flinging herself about in ecstatic abandon, clawing at the air and whipping her hair around her. The confidence she has gained over the years was clear as she allowed herself to take up as much space on the vast stage as possible.
Her metallic silver flares and chain mail-esque top served as her suit of armour, protecting her against heartbreak, melodrama, rumours and reinforced that mature sense of confidence.
Lorde's success on the world stage - singing songs about New Zealand streets and New Zealand parties, and winning Grammys for it - shows that any feelings of cultural cringe are no longer justified.