11 Weeks of Pure Heroine: Team
Sophia Guerrier, A&E Editor
“Team” is the energetic and uplifting third single from “Pure Heroine,” maintaining the themes of royalty and materialism. Themes, we certainly haven’t heard before on the past five songs (sarcasm).
In an interview with Billboard Magazine, Lorde said, “No one comes to New Zealand, no one knows anything about New Zealand, and here I am, trying to grow up and become a person.”
As much as Lorde seems to admire and love where she hails from, there is still a continuation of insecure feelings regarding her newfound status as a celebrity and her place of origin. We first get this feeling on Royals when she says, “No postcode envy” and now we receive it at the start of the chorus, “We live in cities you’ll never see on screen.” But this time Lorde releases these feelings and takes pride of her unknown suburban town in the next line, “Not very pretty, but we sure know how to run things.” There has been speculation that “but we sure know how to run things” is a stab at Miley Cyrus’s “We Can’t Stop,” which features the lines “We run things, things don’t run we;” not a stretch considering the song was released months before “Pure Heroine” and also Lorde’s tendency of denouncing superficialism, in modern pop music is prevalent throughout the LP.
The song has a dreamy atmosphere to it, as the opening lines relate back to kingship and authority when she says, “The hounds will stay in chains, look upon your greatness and she'll send the call out.” Assuming Lorde is the “she” sending the call out, as a queen, the allegory of a royal party unfolds as the song progresses. “Call all the ladies out, they're in their finery, A hundred jewels on throats, A hundred jewels between teeth” which is the introduction to this party, almost like bringing us back to “Ribs,” where Lorde depicts a glorification of boasting wealth through material items like jewelry and grills. “Dancin' around the lies we tell, dancin' around big eyes as well” are three common elements that are found within parties: dancing, lying and dilation of pupils, “big eyes”, caused by drugs. This allegory is a play on society’s yearn to feel important through possessions and the approval of others. Flaunting jewelry, doing drugs and even lying about a lifestyle is a prevailing subject in pop music, not to mention the same behavior that celebrities and social media tries to sell to their consumers.
Lorde then recognizes and challenges the integrity of this behavior when she sings, “And everyone's competing for a love they won't receive, cause what this palace wants is release;” she also indicates that it’s all a facade and out of all things, people just want to be themselves. Another indication of Lorde’s exhaustion of superficialness is the line, “I'm kind of over gettin told to throw my hands up in the air … I'm kind of older than I was when I reveled without a care.” Lorde’s mentioning of throwing hands up in the air again relates back to pop music’s emphasis on partying and the “throw your hands up” lyrics that are repeated often in songs. She’s “over” acting the same as everyone else and matured to realize that it isn’t as fun or genuine as it seemed to be at first, especially when she was younger.
The repeated line “We’re on each other’s team” can be presumed to be reassurance of preserving individual character and being confident when pressures of societal norms tell us otherwise. With a message like that I’m on Lorde’s team, what about you? Next week, “Glory and Gore” will be examined.