Maybe the times will change, or maybe she’s simply stoned at the nail salon. Lorde ponders mortality, growing up and life away from social media in an introspective new song titled “Stoned at the Nail Salon,” released Wednesday (July 21).
The track, produced by longtime collaborator Jack Antonoff and supported by guest vocalists Phoebe Bridgers and Clairo, finds the 24-year-old pop star singing against a simple guitar accompaniment. The second single off Lorde’s upcoming third album Solar Power, “Stoned at the Nail Salon” features simple production but vast and profound lyrics, with the New Zealand artist examining her doubts as to whether she’s on the right life path. “Got a wishbone drying on the windowsill in my kitchen just in case I wake up and realize I’ve chosen wrong,” she sings. “I love this life that I have … But I wonder sometimes what I’m missing.”
“Stoned at the Nail Salon” channels several themes from Lorde’s past work, with some lyrics such as “‘Cause all the music you loved at 16 you’ll grow out of” feeling reminiscent of Pure Heroine track “Ribs,” and other lines like “Well my hot blood’s been burning for so many summers now” paralleling Melodrama fan-favorite “Liability.”
Overall, the song is a “rumination on getting older, settling into domesticity, and questioning if you’ve made the right decisions,” Lorde explained in a statement. “I think lots of people start asking those questions of themselves around my age, and it was super comforting to me writing them down, hoping they’d resonate with others too.”
It’s been a couple years since Lorde stopped being active on social media platforms — one of the undercurrent themes in “Stoned at the Nail Salon” — in a deliberate move to reduce her own stress and curb her social media addiction. But just because she gave it up doesn’t mean it’s been easy. In a new interview with Zane Lowe for Apple Music 1, she revealed that moving away from internet trends came with insecurities over being forgotten.
“And that’s what the song was born out of, was that insecurity of feeling like, ‘Oh, no one’s seen me in ages. I haven’t posted a picture of myself looking cool,'” she told Lowe. “‘Like I’m being left behind, and obviously I leaned hard into that in the years that followed and it’s my joy to be left behind now, in a way.'”
The new song follows the release of Lorde’s first single, the title track of her long-awaited album Solar Power, scheduled to drop Aug. 20. She told Billboard in June that no CDs would be available this time around, instead opting for a physical product of her own invention: a biodegradable music box. “I’m a pop star, and I drive this massive machine that takes resources and spits out emissions 00 I’m under no illusion about that,” she said.
Listen to Lorde’s new song “Stoned at the Nail Salon”: