"Team" is the third single released by New Zealand singer Lorde. It was released as a single on September 13th and later a music video was uploaded to Lorde's VEVO account.
"Team" was written by Lorde and Joel Little while the former was traveling the world. The track was recorded and produced at Little's Golden Age Studios, the same place "Royals" and "Tennis Court" were produced and recorded. The song was produced with the software Pro Tools.
"Team" is a hybrid of alternative pop and electro-hop. Written in the key of G-flat major, "Team" features synthesiser, bass, and snare drum instrumentation over a handclap-based beat. Lyrically, "Team" is a "tribute to her friends and country". In an interview with Billboard, Lorde described the song as "her take on most modern music" and explained, "no one comes to New Zealand, no one knows anything about New Zealand, and here I am, trying to grow up and become a person." Lorde also explained that the line "We live in cities you'll never see on screen" was "to be speaking for the minority" from small cities. She also expresses distaste in common contemporary popular music lyrics telling listeners to "put your hands in the air" through the verse "I'm kind of over getting told to throw my hands up in the air".
"Team" received critical acclaim from music critics. Brenna Ehrlich from MTV News lauded it as an "insanely catchy jam". The A.V. Club critic Kevin McFarland labelled "Team" as a "club-ready" and "sparkly thumper", while Nathan Jolly from The Music Network simply described it "interesting". Marlow Stern writing for The Daily Beast listed "Team" as the fifth best song of 2013.
On 23 September 2013, "Team" debuted at number three on the New Zealand Singles Chart, becoming Lorde's third consecutive top-three single in the country following number-one singles "Royals" and "Tennis Court". Recorded Music NZ certified the single double platinum due to the sales figure of over 30,000 copies in the country. "Team" peaked at number nineteen on the Australian Singles Chart, and was certified double platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA).
Following its impact on US radio stations, "Team" debuted at number thirty-two on the Billboard Rock Airplay, and topped the chart on 7 October 2013. It also topped the Adult Top 40, and charted at number two on the Mainstream Top 40, number two on the Hot Rock Songs and number two on the Alternative Songs. On the Billboard Hot 100, "Team" peaked at number six, becoming her second US top-ten hit (following her debut number-one hit "Royals"). The song reached over two million in sales in the US by April 2014. By December 2014, "Team" had sold 2.45 million copies in the US. The single also reached number three on the Canadian Hot 100, and was certified double-platinum by Music Canada, which denotes 160,000 downloads.
|Premiere||December 3 2013|
|Filmed||Red Hook Grain Terminal in Red Hook, Brooklyn|
The music video for "Team" was directed by Young Replicant. Filmed the disused Red Hook Grain Terminal in Red Hook, Brooklyn, the video was inspired by Lorde's dream of "teenagers in their own world, a world with hierarchies and initiations, where the boy who was second in command had acne on his face, and so did the girl who was Queen".
The video begins with shots of the ocean. The scene revealed an unseen city with ruins of factories on an island and full of teens "without any parental guidance". On Lorde's Facebook account, she further explained that world was "so different to anything anyone had ever seen, a dark world full of tropical plants and ruins and sweat". Inside the ruins, she is seen as the "self-anointed" queen of the city's citizens in a "blue, foliage-filled universe". A young boy is transported to the island; following his arrival, he must joust on a motorbike to become a part of Lorde's "team".He loses; Lorde commented that "sometimes the person who loses is stronger".
Team was one of the songs on Lorde's The Lorde Tour setlist. On 12 November 2013, Lorde performed several songs from Pure Heroine during the Late Show with David Letterman to promote the album, including "Team". The track was also performed by Lorde during the ARIA Music Awards of 2013. At the 2014 MuchMusic Video Awards, Lorde performed a Goth-influenced medley of "Tennis Court" and "Team".