[PROTO-GOTH] The latest enfant terrible climbing the charts and roiling the blogs, Lorde recorded her debut album, Pure Heroine, at the tender age of 16 and became the youngest artist to top the Billboard Hot 100 (nine weeks and counting) in a quarter-century. The former Ella Yelich-O’Connor is a teen pop star by any measure, even if her actual music intends something rather more incisive. Her hit single “Royals” may have splattered global consciousness through mushrooming Spotify shares, but the darkly infectious speak-along—trappings of success, above narcotized beats, are cheekily name-checked and discarded—also soundtracked the victory speech of the next NYC mayor. First signed four years ago, which should more than explain her steeped levels of craft and ennui, Lorde inevitably forced Lana Del Rey comparisons with her cultivated sultriness, underplayed electro-goth aesthetic and shrouded origins overseen by major-label minders. Now, the first stirrings of a backlash have already begun to attack Lorde’s altogether innocuous statements regarding her less artful drive-time contemporaries. Peppering her handful of live performances with covers of Kanye and the Replacements, the New Zealand native clearly hopes to transcend the expectations placed upon one so young. But the charms of her songwriting come less from a daunting restraint than the lyrical odes to suburban disaffection so precisely capturing a pouty adolescence, however articulate her muse.
GO: Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside St., 225-0047. 5 pm Wednesday, Dec. 4. Sold out.