Lorde has released an EP called Te Ao Mārama, which contains five new recordings of songs from her new album, Solar Power, which are sung in Māori, the indigenous language of New Zealand. The lyrics were translated by Hana Mereraiha and the tracks include background vocals by Māori singers. “Special thanks to Dame Hinewehi Mohi & Sir Timoti Kāretu for overseeing the project,” the credits read. All proceeds from the album go to New Zealand-based charities Forest and Bird and the Te Hua Kawariki Charitable Trust. Check it out below.
“Many things slowly revealed to me as I was making this album, but the most important lesson, by far, was that much of my value system around caring for and listening to the natural world came from traditional Māori principles,” she wrote in a newsletter . “In te reo there is a word for it: kaitiakitanga, which means ‘guardianship or care for heaven, sea and land’.”
I’m not a Māori, but all New Zealanders grow up with elements of this worldview. Te ao Māori and tikanga Māori are a big part of why people who are not from here find our country “magical”, I think. I know that I am someone who in a way represents New Zealand worldwide and when I made an album about my origins it was important for me to be able to say: This is what makes us who we are down here. It’s also just an amazingly beautiful language – I loved singing in it. Even if you don’t understand Te Reo, I think you will enjoy how elegant my words sound in it. Especially Hana’s translations for Te Ara Tika / The Path and Hine-i-te-Awatea / Oceanic Feeling take my breath away.
In connection with the Solar Power release, Lorde covered Britney Spears, performed in Central Park, drank with Seth Meyers, performed on “Hot Ones,” and was a full week guest on James Corden episodes. Their tour in support of the album begins in February.
Read “7 Great Lorde Live Performances” on the pitch.
This article was originally published on September 9 at 12:15 p.m. Eastern. It was last updated on September 9 at 12:24 PM Eastern.