Lorde’s little sister spreads her wings

Her older sister was suddenly touring the world accompanied by her mother, and Yelich became hungry for her own creative path and success. At 18, she moved to Los Angeles to study acting, but soon after moved to New York City. When asked how she found LA, a notoriously difficult city for outsiders, she is quick to reply, “I didn’t find it. It’s like the sun is always shining and when you’re not in a good mood, it mocks you.”

New York, with its gloom and long history of poetry, suited Indy better (her favorite book is Patti Smith’s children only). She fell in love with the work of Ocean Vuong, Frank O’Hara and Alex Dimitrov – the latter she excitedly tells me I must read and promises to send some of his work after our interview.

“I remember the change in how people treated me at school.”

Singer Indy Yelich reflecting on the commercial success of her sister, pop superstar Lorde

threads Written over a three-year period, Yelich flits between New York and LA, sleeping on friends’ sofas while hopping into sessions with songwriters like Andy Seltzer, David Longstreth and Casey Smith – who recently collaborated with Olivia Rodrigo .

Is collaboration something that comes easily to you? “No,” she replies before I finish the sentence. “Not at all. I have deep trust in the people I work with. [A songwriting session] it’s basically like a therapy session…you just go in and find out what you’re feeling and check out what you’re feeling and then you write something about it. I’ve found that I can’t do it with some people, I just can’t bring it out.

Yelich describes her writing process as “psychotic”. “I keep each ticket and write a date on the back of what I did that day – like a bus or movie ticket. I have journals, everything, so I remember so I can keep appointments. Every song is a different color and every song is a different memory and about a different person.”

Lorde has spoken extensively over the years about her synesthesia — a cognitive phenomenon that allows people to see sounds as colors — but Yelich is quick to dismiss the idea that she shares the condition. “No, I haven’t,” she replies. “But I think I’m creative. I’m such a music lover first and foremost, so I can have very specific references and I have very specific mood boards and very specific feelings. I associate color with emotion, but I don’t necessarily know if it’s synesthesia.”

Indy Yelich says she appreciates her sister's advice but has her own musical voice.

Indy Yelich says she appreciates her sister’s advice but has her own musical voice.Credit:Dominik Lorrimer

As with most debut EPs threads stretches in a number of different directions in a conscious choice to portray the scattered emotions of Yelich’s early twenties. opener hometowna gentle pop stunner, traces the familiar territory of returning home after you’re grown while tongue-in-cheek bop Parasitic takes cues from artists like Caroline Polachek. The nervous one Murderer, the second single from the EP, was born out of an anxiety attack before a songwriting session. It’s an enticing pop collection and the highlight is Yelich’s voice: rich, deep and expressive, it lights up the entire record.

“The longing, the nostalgia, the fear, the youth and the hope … all those things are like that, they’re like that me, right?” she says. “All you can write about is what you’ve been through. I also wanted to take the time to find out. I think this project would have been very different [age] 20.”

She appreciates her older sister’s advice, but doesn’t work too closely with her when it comes to creating her own works. “This is my first work,” she says. “My voice has to be really clear. I really have to believe in it.”

“This business is difficult,” she continues. “It’s really important to be your own person and be authentic, otherwise it’s all over. I’m very happy to have this door open, but the music has to speak for itself as well.”

Indy Yelich's older sister, pop superstar Lorde.

Indy Yelich’s older sister, pop superstar Lorde.Credit:Ben Sklar

The comparisons will, of course, be inevitable, the consequence of having as a sister one of the most influential pop artists of the last two decades. But Indy says she’s not worried.

“I might have thought so when I was 20. But to be honest, I’m just lucky that I’m realistic at all [opportunity],” she says. “Having that initial interest. I’m very sure of who I am. You have to show up yourself. I don’t want to be 80 and regret not really trying, you know?”

https://www.smh.com.au/culture/music/i-m-very-sure-of-who-i-am-lorde-s-little-sister-spreads-her-wings-20230109-p5cbcr.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_culture Lorde’s little sister spreads her wings

Jaclyn Diaz

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