Solar Power is a psychedelic/folk-pop album by New Zealand -born artist Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor a.k.a. Lorde. The overarching themes on the album are escapism (into nature), introspection, the yearning to reconnect with nature, and climate anxiety. Not every song on the album deals with nature, or the climate directly, but many of them do, most explicitly “The Path”, “Solar Power”, “Fallen Fruit”, and “Oceanic Feeling”. Additionally, organic recordings of nature can be heard throughout the album, such as wind and the sounds of cicadas.
Music is a storytelling medium that has lasted through the ages, due to its memorability, conciseness, and its incredible ability to compel emotion. Additionally, the advent of streaming platforms has led to albums being instantly shareable for free. Lorde decided not to make the album available as CDs due to their environmental impact, opting instead for a limited supply of physical LPs, as well as a “discless music box product” which is shipped in a biodegradable box and includes a high-resolution download of the album instead of a physical copy. Solar Power also grapples with topics such as eco-celebrity and anthropocentrism due to Lorde’s primary status as a pop star. In the song “The Path” Lorde is stepping away from the role of a spiritual/eco leader for her fans and asserts her belief that people should not look to celebrities like her for answers, but instead reconnect with nature and tune in to the planet.