“I basically thought of the album as a sun worship album,” Lorde said of Solar Power. “I’m not religious in any way, but my experiences in nature the last couple of years were as close to what I had experienced as religion, so it was like a sort of devotional record for me.”
As the Scoville heat level increased, Lorde also talked about how the sound of cicadas — which she recorded onto her phone — plays into the new album. “This year has brood IX, which is this big kind of boom of cicadas once you reached 17 years,” Lorde said. “The last time it happened was in 2004 when I guess JLo and Ben Affleck were together and now they’re back together, so people are like, brood IX is in the air, so I guess I am right on trend with my cicada moment.”
Even more impressive than Lorde’s ability to stoically stand up to ever-increasing heat levels without chugging the water pitcher is the singer’s fine-tuned pallet that — amid the tongue burning — is able to pick up hints of fruit, notes of bitterness, and zero in on the exact pepper used in the sauce. In fact, Lorde makes it to the hottest sauce — Scorpion Disco’s 649,000 Scoville level — and still relishes in the taste of it, no water needed.
Lorde — Hot Ones’ first-ever New Zealand guest — also talked about her home country’s native cuisine, onion rings, leading her middle school to a second-place finish in a kid-lit competition, and what she finds sacred about pop music.