The day is here - Solar Power, Lorde’s new “sexy, playful, feral, and free” song and accompanying music video has been released, and we can finally see which of her photogenic friends were handpicked to star in it.
A veritable who’s who of the local fashion scene (plus some dancers and old Takapuna Grammar friends who we weren’t able to identify; sorry!), we’ve gone deep into the investigative rabbit hole (read: pausing the frames and texting our friends) to bring you this hard-hitting report.
Ella and her gorgeous gaggle of friends smoking fennel bongs, playing chess, dancing in the sun’s rays on an idyllic Waiheke beach and “vibrating at the highest level”, as directed by old friend Joel Kefali (he did Royals), is the perfect post-pandemic promotion for Tourism NZ. If Aotearoa were a Midsommar-esque dream town where Lorde is “like a prettier Jesus”.
The song - and album of the same name, to be released TBC - comes four years after Melodrama and is, Lorde wrote in a note to her fans, a “celebration of the natural world” and “an attempt at immortalising the deep, transcendent feelings I have when I’m outdoors”.
It comes days after Lorde revealed the cover art and launched a million memes with the cheeky photo taken by her best friend Ophelia Mikkelson Jones, “lying on the sand as I leapt over her, both of us laughing”.
With today’s video, she wanted to create a cinematic universe that captured that “infectious, flirtatious summer energy” which, tbh, we’re gonna need as we head into a cold Auckland winter and cancel all the plans.
She’s smiling, she’s dancing, she’s wearing bright yellow*; we love that for her.
* Styled by LA-based stylist Karla Welch and friend of Ensemble Karen Inderbitzen-Waller, Lorde’s ensemble is by New York-brand Collina Strada and made with deadstock satin fabric; the sunglasses are Karen Walker.
You might recognise her as the voice of reason in season one of NZ’s Next Top Model; she also presented on C4 for a bit and recently was a friendly face at K’Road’s Clay. She is dating Jimmy Mac, also in the video and Lorde’s former drummer (random aside: they just did a very sweet shoot together in the new Viva magazine).
A model booker who co-launched an agency, Super Management (which manages Ch’Lita, who’s also in the video), last year. In a former life she was a blogger - in 2013, she did the very first interview with Lorde for her blog, Katherine is Awesome (read it here; it’s cute). Her photographer brother, James, used to date Ella.
We know her as a model with fantastic hair; in the video, she wears a fantastic dress by Penny Sage.
Otherwise known as Eat Lit Food, a writer and hard-partying sassy food reviewer who lots of people love, and others love to hate (we love how he has disrupted the pretty snobbish Auckland hospo/food industry). He went to high school with Ella, and has kept the Daily Mail and Lorde fan accounts fed by sharing random but likely carefully approved photos of her on Instagram.
The one playing chess with Lorde. A drummer who played with the musician on her early tours and songs, Jimmy was previously in the bands Popstrangers, the DHDFHD’s and had the solo venture Scuba Diva. He dates Ruby Higgins, also in the video.
The one playing chess on the middle table, with the blonde hair. We have to be honest, we don’t know much about about her but she looks cool AF throughout this video. She’s a 19-year-old Māori Fijian Auckland-based singer and songwriter who (according to her Spotify bio) has appeared on songs with Troy Kingi and Church & AP, and released her own song Serious last year.
She's the marketing manager for local brand Ruby.
She's the marketing assistant for local jewellery brand Meadowlark; her family also own the NZ brand Pagani.
An artist and creative. Husband of the aforementioned bestie Ophelia (who’s mother Beth Mikkelson launched the fashion brand Pearl with Cris Roberts). As a couple they’ve photographed, and appeared in, campaigns for Standard Issue, Penny Sage and Tessuti. They live an extremely #aesthetic coastal existence and recently moved from Tairua to Northland.
Angelo Yelich O'Connor
Ella’s younger brother.
A Wellington-based poet and writer who, coincidentally, released her new book of poetry Rangikura yesterday. Tayi writes horoscopes for Metro magazine, a column called Māori and the City for ReNews, and is also the publicity assistant at Victoria University Press.
Fun fact! Jett was our editorial assistant upon launch. She now works for a creative agency.
An Auckland-based fashion student, model, ‘It Girl’ and muse to local brands like Yu Mei (she’s photographed a few of their campaigns, and has a bag named after her). She’s appeared in campaign imagery and shows for almost every fashion designer in NZ. Some know her as the buddy of Albert, appearing in many of his posts slurping on noodles and ruminating on sins of the night before.