Crate Digging Weekly: Why Lorde’s “Pure Heroine” should make a comeback in 2021

“As we continue into a year of uncertainty, classics like “Pure Heroine” should be listened to on repeat to remind us of simpler times and one of the biggest shifts in pop music in the 2010s,” writes Managing Editor Kendall Little.


Album cover courtesy of Universal, Lava, and Republic Records

Kendall Little, Managing Editor

I would do anything to be able to listen to Lorde’s debut album “Pure Heroine” for the first time again.

The 2013 album is jam-packed with meaningful lyrics that teenagers and young adults can still connect with eight years later. 

Examples include, “we’re hollow like the bottles that we drain” from 400 Lux and “I am only as young as the minute is, full of it, gettin’ pumped up from the little bright things I bought, but I know they’ll never own me” from Tennis Court.

Here are my top three reasons why “Pure Heroine” should make a comeback on the charts in 2021.


The third track on the album, “Royals,” topped several charts in 2013, including Billboard’s U.S. Mainstream, U.S. Hot Rock & Alternative Songs, and even U.S. R&B/ Hip-Hop Airplay.

I listened to “Royals” for the first time when I was 12 years old. Listening to it now transports me back to the part of my life where I had no worries. 

Eight years ago, no one was worried about a global pandemic. 

Her fanbase grew up alongside her, meaning her debut album will remind them of their teenage years. Now, the majority of Lorde’s fanbase have jobs and bigger responsibilities.

It’s likely that if you play “Royals,” it will be recognized instantly due to its popularity nearly a decade ago.

The ability to transport someone back in time just by listening to a song is something special that isn’t achieved by many.


Lorde perfectly captured the essence of being a teenager and a young adult throughout her debut album. She was only 16 years old at the time of its release, meaning that she was experiencing everything she wrote and sang about in real-time.

Many things that happen between ages 13 and 18 are a universal experience for teenagers.

“Pure Heroine” continues to express the current struggles of growing up eight years after its initial release.

The fourth track on the album, “Ribs,” captures the essence of growing up in four minutes and eighteen seconds. 

The terrifying nature of maturing and becoming an adult is encased in the song through it with lyrics such as, “I’ve never felt more alone, it feels so scary getting old.” 

Toward the end of the song, there’s a shift in focus to a simpler time when Lorde was young.

“You’re the only friend I need. Sharing beds like little kids. And laughing ’til our ribs get tough. But that will never be enough,” Lorde powerfully sings. 

Growing up is a tough experience for everyone and this album reminds teenagers that they’re not alone.

Artistic Impact

“Pure Heroine” gave listeners a type of music that they had never heard before. 

Electronic pop music accompanied by darker, less upbeat lyrics took listeners by surprise, especially because the album came from a 16 year old girl.

Lorde released the album at a time when upbeat and care-free songs like “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore and “Cruise” by Florida Georgia Line dominated the charts.

The dynamic shift inspired some of today’s most popular artists to create music with a similar indie vibe such as Billie Eilish and Alessia Cara.

The entire album marked a shift from typical pop music to a darker, more complex sub-genre of pop and alternative music.

In her song “Team,” Lorde alludes to the typical pop music that was catered toward teenagers at the time: “I’m kinda over getting told to throw my hands up in the air.”

It was different; a breath of fresh air amid an upbeat pop music fog.

For me, listening to music that had a deeper and darker message made me feel older and mature at the ripe age of 12. Now that I’m 19 and looking back at the album, I realize that the shift in pop music was welcomed because it was real. 

Lorde sang about real issues, whether they were pretty or not. 

Normalizing common issues and struggles during adolescence became a huge priority as pop music continued over the years, but Lorde truly pioneered the movement away from music that was designed for simple radio play. 

Artists in different genres such as grunge rock perfected the art of making music about deeper topics in the 90s and 2000s, but pop really began to make its transition in the early 2010s.

Lorde left her mark in the music industry at a very young age and can now be compared to artists such as the Arctic Monkeys for her accomplishments in the alternative-pop scene.

As we continue into a year of uncertainty, classics like “Pure Heroine” should be listened to on repeat to remind us of simpler times and one of the biggest shifts in pop music in the 2010s.

Kendall Little is the Managing Editor for the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet her @klittlewrites.