Producer: Joel Little
Album: Pure Heroine

It took about three months of hyperbolic press releases, ignored industry event invites, and CW fall lineup sizzle reels to realize that Lorde was something I would have to deal with. It took exactly 13 seconds of that song—that sparkling glory of music biz mutual masturbation—to realize that no amount of insight, objectivity, or opiates could make that okay.

...After years of left-of-center artists ducking and dodging to escape the talons of Taco Bell commercials and Girls references, Lorde is the sound of 'independent' music's inflated, affected dying gasp.

There are two ways to hate: you can hate for others or you can hate for yourself. Hating for others is performative and nimble; it dips, dives, and dances with counter opinions. It's like an imaginary friend: dormant until playtime. Hating for yourself is cumbersome and acidic; it sits in you like a bezoar (Google with caution) and weighs you down like running through caramel. It's a tapeworm that steals from you for its own self-serving growth.

My visceral contempt for "Royals" is a gleaming example of the latter, shellacked and presented with a "quirky-cute" Alexa Chung-inspired Forever 21 S/S '14 bow on top.

In all honesty, I can't explain my hostility towards Lorde. It's not really about her (though I can't say I'm a fan of her willfully-ignorant and widely-excused xenophobia) and it's not really about her music (though John Cage's "4'33" is a more evocative and stimulating listen). It's that after years of left-of-center artists ducking and dodging to escape the talons of Taco Bell commercials and pithy Girls references, Lorde is the sound of "independent" music's inflated, affected dying gasp. Rest in profit. No obituary, no headstone.
—Sasha Hecht