The following year, Lorde curated the soundtrack for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014) and provided its lead single, "Yellow Flicker Beat", for which she was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.Lorde released her second studio album Melodrama (2017) after a three-year hiatus, launched with "Green Light" as its lead single.
In her early teens, she signed with Universal Music Group and was later paired with songwriter and record producer Joel Little.At the age of sixteen, she released her first extended play, The Love Club EP (2012), reaching number two on the national record charts in both New Zealand and Australia.In November 2013, Lorde signed a publishing deal with Songs Music Publishing, worth a reported US.5 million, after a bidding war between various companies, including Sony Music Entertainment and her label UMG.The agreement gives the publisher the right to license Lorde's music for films and advertising.In a review for Consequence of Sound, Jon Hadusek details the minimal production on Lorde's music "allows [her] to sing any melody she wants, layering them over one another to create a choral effect". She has the presence and vocal development of singers more than twice her age.
Her voice isn't booming or overpowering, but rather mystifying and alluring, both floating on its own in a sea of reverb and digital blips and awash in an army of chorused overdubs." Lorde details that her songs are shaped by her lyrics, which she felt as a "more cohesive way of working." She said, "I tend to start with lyrics – sometimes the seed of a song will just be a word that I thought was rad, one that summed up a particular idea I'd been trying to pin down." Lindsay Zoladz from Pitchfork noted that Lorde expressed her indifference towards modern-day's culture, further explaining that "Lorde has introduced herself to the world as someone who gives very few fucks." Jim Pickney from the New Zealand Listener writes that Lorde's lyrics are structured in a short story manner and praised that her songwriting ability "combines unmistakably teenage confusion, curiosity and confidence with word skills beyond her years." In a November 2013 interview with Q, Lorde expressed frustration about "certain things about music": "There are a lot of shock tactics these days."Royals" was released as Lorde's debut single in mid-2013, becoming an international crossover hit reaching number one in many charts, making her the youngest solo artist to achieve a number-one single on the US Billboard Hot 100 since 1987.Lorde's debut studio album Pure Heroine (2013) garnered positive reviews for her depiction of suburban adolescence; yielding the additional top-ten single "Team", it topped the national charts in New Zealand and Australia and reached number three on the US Billboard 200.Lorde was also part of the Belmont Intermediate School band Extreme; the band placed third in the North Shore Battle of the Bands finals at the Bruce Mason Centre, Takapuna, Auckland on 18 November 2009.In 2010 Lorde and Mc Donald performed covers live on a regular basis as a duet called "Ella & Louis", playing at The Leigh Sawmill Cafe on 15 August, at Roasted Addiqtion Cafe in Kingsland on 20 August, at The Vic Unplugged at Victoria Theatre, Devonport on 27 October, and at Devonstock in Devonport on 12 December.The record deals with themes of heartbreak and solitude.