Watch Lorde's Mesmerizing 'SNL' Performances

Watch Lorde's Mesmerizing 'SNL' Performances

Pop's reigning anti-royal is back and broodier than ever.

Pop's reigning anti-royal is back and broodier than ever.

Text: Jacob Seferian

Lorde graced the Saturday Night Live stage this past weekend to sing two of her new songs, "Green Light" and "Liability." With high energy (and an influx of raw emotion to match), the performance was, overall, an enticing first look at the musician's upcoming sophomore album Melodrama

After rocketing to popularity following the release of her 2013 summer smash "Royals"—a track in which she jokes about her failure to relate to the lavish lifestyle depicted in much of pop music, admitting, "that kind of lux just ain't for us." Her debut album Pure Heroine built on this notion of accessibility, exploring youthful themes like house parties, college anxiety, and teenage social pressure. A formula which proved successful, earning Lorde two Grammy Awards and establishing her as a millennial iconoclast. (For more on Lorde's rise to the throne, you can read her V88 cover story here.)

Now, over three years later, the superstar is no longer a teenager, but a young woman. Her new music may be just as emotionally conflicted, but her approach is more mature and uncompromising. She opened her SNL appearance with "Green Light," an infectious song about the wake of a breakup. Standing on the Studio 8H stage with a single spotlight, she attacks lyrics like, "she thinks you love the beach, you're such a damn liar." As the piano bounds in we see her get body grow steadily tenser before she erupts into spastic dancing. Watch the electrifying performance below.

Her second performance struck an entirely different note. Dressed in white with a headpiece that resembles a crumbled veil, the singer-songwriter delivers the somber, likewise breakup themed ballad "Liability." While she previously jumped around the stage, here she remains seated. A perfect contrast, as the track serves almost as an aftershock of "Green Light," the moment when rage settles and is replaced by sadness. Starring at the floor while she croons the vulnerable lyrics, the result is heart-wrenching.

See backstage moments from the performances in the slideshow below, courtesy of Lorde's Instagram. Melodrama is slated for release on June 16.

Credits: Banner image courtesy of Instagram / @lordemusic

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