Friday, 13 October 2017

an ode to lorde's party girl

They're all gonna watch us disappear into the sun.

There will never be a shortage of pop songs about parties. Dancy beats lay beneath lyrics that describe dancing 'til sunrise, falling in love, living for the weekend. They revel in the joy and free abandon of the coolest party ever. Then Lorde comes along and speaks to a different kind of party girl and a fuller, more realistic image is formed.

We saw glimpses of this on her debut. In 'A World Alone', she sings that her friends are, "studying business, I study the floor." Lorde's party girl watches from afar and continues to ruminate as she is swept up with the rest of the night. On Melodrama this vision becomes fully formed, capturing how parties are microcosms of youth; expressing the excitement, the vibrance, and the comedown. 

We are faced with overarching themes of violence and melodrama. We are more used to seeing these in classical tragedies than at "fun, scummy house parties." Yet, when you think about the crazy things people do at parties that they would never dare to do in the light of day, you realise that parties are actually very theatrical. We kiss people we would be too nervous to kiss otherwise, get into fights, forget the person we have to be when Monday morning rolls around. 

Melodrama is punctuated with self-awareness, something that Lorde's party girl cannot escape. Even in the joyful moments where she dances until she can't see, there's still an aching in the back of her mind about what it all means. Pretending not to care, but actually caring a lot. Knowing that the night has to end. Agonising over whether you will ever have this much fun again. It picks apart the 'perfect night'; a jaded idea used by businesses to sell us new party dresses or expensive bottles of vodka.  Sometimes the perfect night happens and you find that perfect place with the perfect people, other times you're left mine sweeping other people's drinks and crying in the taxi on the way home. Lorde's party girl feels everything in bright lights and darkness. There is no grey, so every night is an intense adventure that can go one way or another, but when it is good it is really good.

When she's not dancing, she's pouring her heart out under porch lights, watching the way other people act when they're drunk or high or in love. She ruminates in bathrooms then sways back downstairs to try and keep up with the rest of the room. The night builds to a crescendo with dancing in the living room. She goes home, then does it all again the next night. 

Whilst there is a realism to Lorde, it is easy to see how she romanticises these moments. Hazy memories and the pale glow of streetlights, disco lights, porch lights, cigarettes makes everything seem soft and beautiful. These nights feel like dreams, so we try to recreate them and find these perfect places. 

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