In February 2017 on the Republic Records website, a label titled "Lorde new album" was put under the date "3/3/17". This was later erased. Later, Lorde dropped an ad featuring her sipping a drink, eating food, in the back of a train with music in the background. This was followed by another ad, featuring Lorde walking down a street with music in the background. This was followed by the third and final ad featuring Lorde dancing with the lyrics "'Cause honey I'll come get my things, but I can't let go. I'm waiting for it, that green light, I want it."
On March 1st, Lorde posted a tweet saying "i am so overjoyed to finally announce that my first single, GREEN LIGHT, is coming out tomorrow at 8am nz/ 2pm nyc." She also teased it by saying that it would be "different, and kinda unexpected. Complex and funny and sad and joyous and it'll make you DANCE." On the day the new single came out she had an interview with Zane Lowe of Beats 1, saying:
"The song is really about those moments kind of immediately after your life changes and about all the silly little things that you gravitate towards. I say, 'She thinks you love the beach, you're such a liar.' What the fu--, she thinks you like the beach?! You don't like the beach! It's those little stupid things. It sounds so happy and then the lyrics are so intense obviously. And I realized I was like, 'how come this thing is coming out so joyous sounding?' And I realized this is that drunk girl at the party dancing around crying about her ex-boyfriend who everyone thinks is a mess. That's her tonight and tomorrow she starts to rebuild. And that's the song for me."
Writing and Composition
The song was written by Lorde, Jack Antonoff, and Joel Little, with production being handled by Lorde, Antonoff, and Frank Dukes. It was the first track Lorde wrote for Melodrama. Writing took place over an 18-month period. Lyrically, the song is inspired by Lorde's first heartbreak, and the overall theme of "those moments kind of immediately after your life changes" with reviewers characterizing the lyrics as being "downbeat" as well as having an "acceptance of longing". Musically, "Green Light" is described as an electropop and dance-pop song. According to sheet music published at Musicnotes.com by Sony/ATV Music Publishing, "Green Light" is set in common time with a "driving" tempo of 129 beats per minute. The song is composed in the key of A major, with Lorde's vocal range between the notes D3 and A4. "Green Light" begins with Lorde singing solo with a lone piano playing "slow, steady" power chords consisting of a root note and the fifth above. Then, in the first of the song's two pre-choruses, a "throbbing beat" plays amid "tongue-twisting lyrics, eerie background vocals, and bubbling electronic effects." In the second pre-chorus, a "cheery, upbeat piano loop and a kick drum" accompany Lorde as she sings about an "uneasy new reality".
On a "Behind the Melodrama" Podcast Exclusive from Spinoff, Lorde said:
"I always want to run toward the thing that feels challenging and scary and exciting, and that didn’t feel like a drum beat and a vocal anymore. Because those types of songs had been number one on the charts for two years. It really felt like there’d been an excess of that type of music, which I am happy for as someone who’s in the camp of minimalism, but also I was like – there has to be a different way to express how I’m feeling."
Jason Lipshutz of Billboard commended the track, highlighting Lorde's songwriting in particular, "...with Green Light, a comeback single that barges into your heart on its first play, Lorde makes a good case that her songwriting, above all else, is her strongest asset", wrote Lipshutz. Nolan Feeney of Entertainment Weekly said of the song: "[Lorde] and her collaborators pull off all of those feelings and sounds without making 'Green Light' feel like it was Frankenstein'd together from a pile of lesser tunes. [...] Listening to it feels like the opposite of waiting by the phone and Instagram-stalking your ex—instead, it's a celebration, It's the most explosive and epic thing Lorde has done." Hugh McIntyre of Forbes said, "the tune sees her shedding the gloom of her previous hits for a more upbeat feeling, one which packs a galloping piano/drum beat build up and a power-pop chorus with a vaguely electronic backbeat."
"Green Light", along with "Bad Liar" were claimed by Billboard as Songs Of The Summer for 2017. They are the only two females to achieve this. Later it was nominated for Choice Alternative Rock Song at the Teen Choice Awards. In October, it was submitted for four Grammy awards, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Video and Best Pop Solo respectively. In December, it reached Platinum at one million sales.
"Green Light" debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 100, then went up to number 19 the second week. It stayed at 19 for the third week, then dropped off the chart at week four.
|Premiere||March 2 2017|
|Filmed||Los Angeles' MacArthur Park|
|Exec. producer||Nina Soriano|
The music video for "Green Light", directed by Grant Singer, was filmed in Los Angeles' MacArthur Park and released on 2 March 2017. In an interview, Lorde revealed that the point of the music video was to be realistic: “I want to look the way my friends see me. I want to feel like I could be any one of the young people who listen to my music." She also recalls that “Cars generally are not built to have a girl dancing around and losing her mind on top of them. It was one of the strangest things I’ve done."
The music video shows Lorde in a small pink dress and sneakers dancing on a street, intercut with clips of Lorde in a club singing, Lorde in a taxi with her head hanging out of the window and her dancing on a passerby's car. The video has garnered over 33 million views.
- ↑ Revealed on Lorde's Twitter
- ↑ "Lorde Releases New Song 'Green Light' and Video: Watch" - Pitchfork.
- ↑ "Lorde Releases New Song 'Green Light' and Video: Watch" - Pitchfork
- ↑ Billboard Hot 100 - Billboard
- ↑ Lorde Calls Dancing on a Car in 'Green Light' Video 'One of the Strangest Things I've Done' - Billboard
- ↑ Lorde - Green Light - YouTube