Lorde Digs Up ‘Pure Heroine’ Memories on 10-Year Anniversary: ‘Still Totally Touched by This Sweet Record’

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It’s officially been 10 years since the release of Lorde‘s debut album Pure Heroine, on which she prophetically sings: “It feels so scary getting old.” Yep, nailed it.

In a candid email to fans, the 26-year-old pop star celebrated the bittersweet 10-year anniversary of her debut album by sharing unseen photos of her then-signature mane of untamed curls, near-black lipsticks and teenage bedroom, recalling memories of how she put together Pure Heroine a whole decade ago. (Plus, she announced that a couple pieces of limited edition Pure Heroine merch are available for purchase here.)

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“I started to smoke weed, which gave me a deeper understanding of sensory pleasure, and allowed me to start to see my world as a possible work of art,” Lorde shared in her message, sent out to her subscription list Wednesday (Sept. 27). “I’d go on long walks around the neighbourhood, and began to mythologise the stuff around me (big empty floodlit rugby fields/bus rides/dark streets/boredom/isolation) into the motifs that would become Pure Heroine. I wore a lot of like, navy lipsticks from the 2 dollar shop. God, this aesthetic, It’s just TOO MUCH.”

She also gave a tender shoutout to Joel Little, who co-wrote and produced Pure Heroine with the singer-songwriter when she was just 15 years old. “When you’re a teenager, you’re particularly sensitive to adults being condescending to you, not respecting the specific and finely tuned skills you have because of the ones you don’t,” she said. “From the first day meeting Joel, I knew that he would never give me that feeling. Which I’m sure wasn’t easy — my wallet at the time was the foot of a pair of tights that I cut off and knotted at the top.”

Released Sept. 27, 2013, Pure Heroine complemented the success of Lorde’s smash debut single “Royals” — which had taken pop radio by storm and clocked a nine-week reign atop the Billboard Hot 100 — debuting at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and remaining on the chart for 107 weeks. It earned the New Zealander her first Grammy nominations in 2014, and she took home song of the year for “Royals” that year.

“In this stage, it felt like I pulled everything off by the skin of my teeth,” she remembered in her email. “Every week was the most exciting week of my whole life, I was so tired and still didn’t have a winter coat and took everyone clamouring for a piece of me completely for granted. I had zero cultural context, had no idea if an interview or TV show was huge or small, and so breezed through it all truly not giving a f–k.”

“I just said absolutely whatever I felt like, all kinds of wild s–t, if someone did something corny I’d say so, I was ruthless in that way that only teens are,” Lorde continued. “Then through that year we went on our first tours, met you guys for the first time, hours and hours of hugs after the show, my favourite part so far and where it started to feel real for me.”

The “Green Light” musician has since released two more LPs — 2017’s Melodrama, her first No. 1 album, and 2021’s Solar Power — but she still has a soft spot for the moody ten-track record that made her a pop music mainstay in 2013. “Ten years goes really fast,” she concluded. “One minute you’re wearing a leather collar with a giant crystal hanging off it to a Chanel party, and the next you’re blonde.”

“A lot of stuff isn’t good after ten years,” Lorde added. “But I am still totally touched by this sweet record. I have deep respect for the vision of the little one making it.”

Stream Pure Heroine below:

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