More than three months after Lorde’s Melodrama arrived, the mysteries behind her chart-topping sophomore album continue to unravel.
The 20-year-old appears on the latest episode of Hrishikesh Hirway’s “Song Exploder” podcast, a must-listen for music fans who want to hear their favorite artists dissect their own songs. In it, Lorde breaks down “Sober,” her intoxicating Melodrama track that was inspired by a period of post-breakup partying.
“I was reeling from this summer which was very much like, wild and fluorescent. That first summer on the cusp of being an adult,” Lorde said. “I’d just come out of a relationship and was just like, drinking all the time. When you come out of a relationship, you just want to fill the quiet as best you can. You’re like, ‘I just don’t want to deal with this quite yet, so I’m going to make every moment full and social and buzzy and loud, and then I won’t have to think about it.’”
From there, Lorde deconstructs the song’s many, many moving parts, which came together over the course of several months with help from co-producers Jack Antonoff and Malay. She revisits its roots as a “droning” slow-burner, and shares demos of her own vocals, the “inappropriate”-sounding horns, and even a tiger’s roar (!!), which became the “ridiculous, dramatic” sample that sent “Sober” over the edge. Check it out: