One of Lorde’s favorite words to sing is “rush” — a flexible little noun that can describe a thrill, or a stress, or even the stress of feeling a thrill. Her new album, “Melodrama,” has rushes to spare. The word appears in four of 11 songs, and each time the 20-year-old lets one rip, she quickly tries to pin it down, as if auditing her own excitement. Life moves irretrievably fast when you’re young and hungry, but Lorde wants to understand how it all works, so whenever an “-ushhh” slides through her teeth, she’s applying pressure to the brakes, making a fast word go slow. Really, she’s doing what great singers do: manipulating time in hopes of better telling the truth.
"How Do We Know If Lorde Is Keeping It Real?" is from The Washington Post, published on June 21, 2017.