Lorde Explains Why Katy Perry’s ‘Teenage Dream’ Is ‘Holy’

The ‘Green Light’ singer gets real about writing pop music

Hit songs don't always neatly fall into one music genre, but Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" is pure bubblegum pop through and through. That's not a bad thing according to Lorde, who's no stranger to pop music herself.

"I have such reverence for the form," she explained to The New York Times Magazine. "A lot of musicians think they can do pop, and the ones who don’t succeed are the ones who don't have the reverence — who think it’s just a dumb version of other music. You need to be awe-struck."

It's been nearly seven years since "Teenage Dream" came out, but the catchy tune still resonates with Lorde as she prepares for the release of Melodrama, due out June 16. Her follow-up to Pure Heroine is a concept album focusing on a house party and "the good and bad parts" of being alone.

David M. Benett/Getty

But while Melodrama chronicles the aftermath of a breakup, "Teenage Dream" spotlights the honeymoon stage of a relationship. Those happy memories are especially powerful.

“There’s this sadness about it, where you feel young listening to it, but you feel impermanence at the same time,” Lorde said. “When I put that song on, I’m as moved as I am by anything by David Bowie, by Fleetwood Mac, by Neil Young. It lets you feel something you didn’t know you needed to feel. ... There’s something holy about it."

If there's a church for Katy Perry, please sign me up. I need somewhere to go when I feel like a plastic bag drifting through the wind.