Lorde has released a new EP titled Te Ao Mārama, which features five new recordings of Solar Power tracks sung in Māori, the indigenous language of New Zealand. Lyrics were translated by Hana Mereraiha, and the tracks feature background vocals from fellow New Zealand musicians Marlon Williams and Bic Runga. All proceeds from the companion EP will will go to to the New Zealand-based charities Forest and Bird and the Te Hua Kawariki Charitable Trust. Stream the project below.
“Many things revealed themselves slowly to me while I was making this album, but the main realisation by far was that much of my value system around caring for and listening to the natural world comes from traditional Māori principles,” Lorde wrote in a newsletter. “There’s a word for it in te reo: kaitiakitanga, meaning ‘guardianship or caregiving for the sky, sea and land.’” She added:
I’m not 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 aren’t from here intuit our country to be kind of ‘magical,’ I think. I know I’m someone who represents New Zealand globally in a way, and in making an album about where I’m from, it was important to me to be able to say: this makes us who we are down here. It’s also just a crazy beautiful language—I loved singing in it. Even if you don’t understand te reo, I think you’ll get a kick out of how elegant my words sound in it. Hana’s translations for Te Ara Tika / The Path and Hine-i-te-Awatea / Oceanic Feeling in particular take my g-d breath away.
Lorde released Solar Power, her third studio album, last month. She recently shared a cover of Britney Spears’ ‘Break the Ice’.