This song came into my life in the winter of 2013 and I instantly liked it. On a side note, Lorde was probably 17 years old when this song came out, which in hindsight is immensely inspiring.
This song documents the dismantling of the superficiality of the world that teenagers perceive, as they begin to see beneath the glitzy surface. That first jolt of reality and the inescapable bit of disappointment is felt as the singer’s beliefs get rattled as she begins her ascent from the abyss of teenage.
The writing is so vivid with lovely metaphors of typical teenage experiences like ‘jewels between teeth’ (braces), ‘skin in craters like the moon’ (pimples). I especially like ‘kind of over gettin’ told to throw my hands up in the air’ – it makes you empathize with the real person who’s emerging, who does not want to be a mere body filling up the crowds in music concerts. This teenager can now see how everyone’s chasing after a love (or appreciation) that doesn’t really exist out there and competing for it is perhaps futile. She is a bystander and an observer now and no longer party to a lot of what she did in the past.
Lorde’s mature voice creates a beautiful contrast to the naivety and self realization, it’s firmness contradicts the almost there-ness of it (kind of over gettin’ told). The electropop music, especially the drums perfectly capture the energy and restlessness of teenage. The synth notes are more contemplative and reflective of the newfound awareness. Great songwriting by a teenager!