Who Exactly Inspired Lorde's New Song?

by Mary Grace Garis
Mike Coppola/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

After a cryptic tease on a New Zealand commercial, Lorde dropped a brand-new single on Thursday. The "Green Light" music video doesn't just sound amazing, it marks a real turn towards adulthood. The precocious 20-year-old (no longer a teen queen) singer sounds painfully bitter in her opening line before the track gets practically dance-y. And that makes you wonder, yikes, who is "Green Light" actually about?

Well, the first candidate would logically be her most prominent and public ex-boyfriend, photographer James Lowe. The two were involved steadily for three years, just as her she was beginning her meteoric rise to fame. During that time the couple spent a lot of time gushing over each other on Instagram, documenting every aspect of their love on social media... even the mundane stuff like brushing their teeth.

But as you could already guess, things just weren't meant to last; it was reported in January of 2016 that the pair had split, citing a lack of Instagram love in the past few months (no, seriously). In 2014 Lowe had wrote a blog post mentioning how he missed Lorde when she embarked on tour, so maybe that had something to do with it. Whatever the case may be, he seems like the prime suspect for the subject of the subject... until you actually look at the lyrics.

Now, "thought you said that you would always be in love / but you're not in love no more" is vague enough to apply to any sort of love gone sour, right? It could work for Lowe, sure. But listen twice to lyrics like, "I do my makeup in somebody else's car / We order different drinks at the same bars / I know about what you did and I wanna scream the truth / She thinks you love the beach, you're such a damn liar." So Lorde is running into this guy on the club scene while he's courting (or with) some other chick. And then she remarks "Did it frighten you / How we kissed when we danced on the light up floor?" Huh.

Is this the kind of relationship that would align with your longtime hometown boyfriend who you may-or-may not have broken up with for long distance reasons? Something doesn't quite align with that properly, and it's all in the club setting. Clubs are a good arena for being single, letting loose, and hooking up. They're not the venue where you party with someone you're making tooth-brushing Instagrams with.

So it's hard actually to peg down who this song could be about, especially since post-Lowe, Lorde hasn't been linked up with someone substantial. This could be, instead, about some intense but fleeting fling that happened within the last year, and that would certainly be a big stamp on Lorde's grown-up punchcard. Whoever it is, kudos on them, and kudos more to Lorde. Because she's dancing into womanhood with a phenomenal sound, and I'm dying to hear more.