Music education always & always looking forward.

Ascending Perfect Fifth in Lorde's "Team"

One of the many things that might make me uncool as a music fan is that I have an affinity toward songs that are singles.  I can't help it.  Maybe I could, but I don't want to.  That said, I also have a tendency to prefer singles that are largely considered follow-ups.  This song, Lorde's follow-up single to the phenomenon that was "Royals", is definitely my favorite of hers and possibly an all-time favorite?  

I compiled a list of all-time favorite songs, and it's far from done, and it contains a lot of songs that you might find familiar (as opposed to deep cuts), but you might be interested in it, anyway.  Also, this particular song is good for ear-training, although most of your kids might respond, "Oh, Lorde?  I forgot about her!"  (I also do not personally vouch for showing this music video in your classroom.)

Team” - Lorde


Intro: The youngest artist to appear on the Billboard charts since Tiffany in 1987, New Zealander singer-songwriter Lorde made a smash in 2013 with her debut album Pure Heroine. The album topped charts in New Zealand and Australia, and topped the Alternative Albums chart in the US. Essentially an alternative artist who crossed over to become a pop phenomenon, Lorde was the first female to hit #1 on the Billboard Alternative chart since 1996. “Team” was the second single released off of the album in the US, and the singer herself calls it a tribute to her less-than-glamorous but much beloved homeland.


Analysis: An outstanding example of the commonly found perfect fifth interval in popular music, the opening line to the chorus makes use of this interval as Lorde sings, “we live in ci-i-ties”, with the interval spanning the extended syllable of “ci-i". By the time she lands on the final syllable of the word, Lorde has outlined a major chord, returning to the third.  This occurs again in the third line of the chorus on the word "ru-u-ins".


Considerations for Teaching: The song makes casual and fleeting reference to parties attended by her friends, but contains no offensive language or profanity.


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