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Conor Oberst & Lorde Talk About Songwriting & Mutual Admiration

5-26 Conor Oberst and LordeIn a Q & A session for the New York Times, Conor Oberst and Lorde recently talked about how they have grown as songwriters and about the admiration they have for one another. Check out the whole article here and read a piece of it below, after the jump.

To listen to some of Conor Oberst’s tunes, purchase a CD here. And buy concert tickets here to see him live.

Want to hear some of Lorde’s music as well? Purchase a CD here and buy concert tickets here to see her live.

Q. You guys can talk, and I’ll just eavesdrop, as if I were a government agency. Ella, how did you first discover Conor’s music?

LORDE I knew about Bright Eyes because everyone at my school was obsessed with Bright Eyes. But I didn’t really have a supergood understanding of who you were. Then my current boyfriend introduced me to you — he’s an O.G., hard-core fan, like he had a forum in 2005 for you guys.


LORDE He was like, I know how you write, and I know how he writes. It was really eye-opening for me as a writer, because — sorry I’m just going to dive into this — but the way you express emotion as a songwriter, it’s, like, childlike. It’s fierce and honest and intense, and you’re kind of defying people to say that they didn’t feel the same way as you. Everyone has those feelings that they don’t quite want to admit, but which you do, in songwriting.

OBERST A lot of that was starting at a young age, not realizing that it wasn’t cool to, like, express your emotions. I wasn’t old enough to be cynical or jaded. I had a similar reaction when I heard your music. So much stuff at your level, in the Top 40 world, is just like vapor: You hear a song and maybe you can hum the melody but you walk away with zero ideas having been communicated. And with your writing, you can do it all at once. You can have this amazing pop anthem that the whole world’s going to sing, and you can still communicate solid, concrete ideas and paint this very vivid picture of lost teenagers in this faraway place.

LORDE I appreciate that. But that’s another thing that I really love about your writing, the little visual thing that just stays with you. I wrote one down — the line: “People in the pool like a drowning army, the smoke alarm emotes and the hotel lobby glows.” I was like, that is perfect!

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Ruth Marie Kast

I love finding the right words to express unexplainable feelings, being so captured by a book that I can't put it down, and befriending dragons in video games.

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