If you saw Lorde’s “Solar Power” music video earlier this summer and wanted to join whichever commune she was advertising as “a prettier Jesus,” her new “Mood Ring” clip takes us further inside the slightly tongue-in-cheek ashram. The song arrives just three days in advance of the singer’s Jack Antonoff-co-produced “Solar Power” album, which arrives Friday.
The mood in this particular video is very specifically a gentle, pastel green. The other color of note is blond, Lorde’s adopted hair color for the occasion. She and her five female costars spend their communal time together dipping their toes into a bowl of crystals (new age references fill the lyrics, although somewhat cheekily), indulge in group reading and page-turning, and form their own moody ring of bodies on the tent floor, doing a slight bit of Busby Berkeley-style overhead-view choreography.
“Mood Ring” had been pegged by some Lorde fans, with or without inside knowledge, as the most commercial song off “Mood Ring,” the previously released title track and “Stoned at the Nail Salon” notwithstanding. And it fulfills that promise, with its gentle beat, sweetly sung hook (with background vocals once again coming from Phoebe Bridgers and Clairo) and mixed-mood lyrics adding up to what most Lorde acolytes will likely agree is the breezy best of the three songs officially released thus far.
“This is a song I am very excited about; it’s so much fun to me,” Lorde said in a statement accompanying the release. “Obviously when making this album I did a deep dive into ’60s, Flower Child culture. I wanted to understand the commune life, dropping out from society and trying to start again. That really resonated to me when writing this album. One thing that occurred to me as a major parallel between that time and our time is our wellness culture and our culture of spirituality, pseudo-spirituality, wellness, pseudo-wellness. Things like eating a macro-biotic vegan diet or burning sage, keeping crystals, reading tarot cards or your horoscope. These were all things that they were dabbling in back then, and that me and my girlfriends are dabbling in today. I was like, ‘I think there’s a pop song in here.’ So this is kind of my extremely satirical look at all of those vibes.”
Lorde will ditch the cult life to appear in Central Park for the “Good Morning America” summer concert series on release day, Friday, followed by a week-long residency on “The Late Late Show With James Corden” next week.