As a proud fangirl, obviously I have Twitter notifications turned on for my favorite people, for everyone from sentient sweater vest Anderson Cooper to social media's reigning queen Chrissy Teigen. As someone with zero human capability to control my enthusiasm (plus, y'know, I'm a millennial lol), I need to know when exciting things happen immediately.
So obviously I knew that Halsey has been in the studio again. I knew that Lorde has been exploring different sounds for her new album for months now. Before this week, sometimes I would get a flashing realization that we might be blessed with follow-ups to both Badlands AND Pure Heroine this year and I would start squealing and fist-pumping simultaneously (not a pretty sight. Like if this dog were to become a cast member on Jersey Shore).
But I was not prepared for the avalanche of raw EMOTION that was shoveled upon me this week, when these two women both officially announced their upcoming releases within DAYS of each other. AND THEY'RE BOTH IN JUNE.
Halsey and Lorde are responsible for two of my favorite albums ever—and two of the most polished, sprawling, celestial debut albums in the history of music. That's just a fact, don't @ me. Not to mention that they are two of the most delightful human beings, and I count us all lucky to be existing at the same time as they are. I feel uplifted and empowered by these women—every time I watched 16-year-old Ella Yelich-O'Connor dancing carelessly on national television like she was alone in her living room, or listened to Ashley Frangipane insist on building her image and career on her own terms.
Most of all, I feel spoiled that their sophomore efforts, Hopeless Fountain Kingdom and Melodrama, will both drop in just three months' time—efforts that will only build upon near-perfect debuts, no doubt benefitting from years of these women growing, maturing, and exploring their individual artistries.
Lorde has already released Melodrama's lead single, "Green Light." It's punchy and unexpected, boasting ambitious chord progressions and rhythms that swell and wane seamlessly. It's a sonic coming-of-age scrapbook/pop break-up anthem for a generation. While it's certainly a huge diversion from her previous music, somehow it works, not in small part thanks to Lorde's sharp lyricism—and to Jack Antonoff, whose prowess with crafting insatiably appealing hooks has been illustrated most notably through Taylor Swift's enduring 1989 (listen to "Green Light" and try to tell me that "I whisper things, the city sings 'em back to you" in the second verse couldn't have been extracted straight from "Style").
Plus, we got another surprise song ("Liability") just yesterday! Which is, again, a twist. Even Lorde said she didn't like it at first. And honestly, same, but it's growing on me with every listen. It sounds like I'm looking into a time-warped mirror and staring at my high school self—a little disconcerting, sure, even disgusting at times, but also enchantingly sentimental.
I'm feeling a lot of feelings. I am blushed and giddy thinking about what these women are capable of, what they're poised to achieve. I am reminded that youth and girlhood are not, as many people would like to believe, incompatible with wisdom, expertise, innovation and artistry (Lorde is 20; Halsey is 22). I am relieved, after months of my phone's notifications resembling a catalogue of horrifying news, to have a bit of good news slide across my screen. And I, like Lorde, believe in the necessity of music for catharsis, for emotion itself, for confronting the dark and sticky things inside but celebrating the glowing bits, too.