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The final promotional single, "Sober", was released on 9 June 2017, and the album Melodrama was released on 16 June 2017.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."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 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.