Ahead of a much-anticipated performance Sunday at Coachella, Lorde debuted new material at a surprise, last-minute show Friday an hour north in Pioneertown, California.
Announced at 5 p.m. Eastern on Twitter, the show sold out in less than a minute, much to the New Zealand singer’s delight: “um holy shit you guys just sold that out; hahahaha i’m DYING i love you,” she tweeted.
It was Lorde’s first live performance (not counting SNL) in almost three years, and the brooding pop star graced the small, attentive crowd with new songs off her upcoming album, Melodrama, including an unheard track, “Sober.”
The song shows off Lorde’s throaty vocal stylings over a minimalist drum beat and modest synths, as she describes the rush and thrill of partying, followed with a dramatic question: “What will we do when we’re sober?”
Bathed in a blue light, Lorde strutted back and forth across a small stage in a glittering mesh dress, declaring herself the “queen of the weekend” over a track that has an undeniable dance hook. Backed by a small band, the singer appears entirely in her element alone in front of the crowd. Fans responded warmly, cheering unanimously at one particularly climactic moment, while one especially zealous attendee is heard yelling, “Yes, Lordey!” at the beginning of the track.
The song, along with the recently released single “Green Light,” signals a dancey, beat-driven theme for Lorde’s newest fare. The singer recently performed on Saturday Night Live and is scheduled to embark on a string of tour dates following her Coachella appearance.
After a relatively long hiatus, Lorde appears to be back in a big way. Melodrama is due out June 16, 2017.