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Lorde: 'Pain from my first major break-up inspired new album'

Writing songs for her new album helped singer Lorde emotionally "rebuild" from her first major break-up.

The 20-year-old star and photographer James Lowe ended their three-year romance in 2015 and Lorde reveals she followed pal Taylor Swift's example and turned the heartache she felt into song material.

Many of the songs on her upcoming release Melodrama, including new single Green Light, came from the dark period of creativity.

"The song is actually about a heartbreak," the Royals singer tells Apple Music DJ Zane Lowe, "and it's not something that I really am used to writing about. It took me a while to be able to figure out how to write about that. It was my first major heartbreak.

"The song is really about those moments kind of immediately after your life changes and about all the silly little things that you gravitate towards."

The New Zealand-based singer admits she was surprised when the tune became so uplifting, considering the deep sadness she felt.

"I say (in the lyrics), 'She thinks you love the beach/You’re such a liar'... She thinks you like the beach? You don’t like the beach! It’s those little stupid things," Lorde says of the confusing memories that came back while she was writing the song. "It sounds so happy and then the lyrics are so intense, obviously. And I realized I was like, 'How come this thing is coming out so joyous sounding?'

"I realized this is that drunk girl at the party dancing around crying about her ex-boyfriend, who everyone thinks is a mess. That’s her tonight and tomorrow she starts to rebuild. And that’s the song for me."

Lorde also opens up about the delay between her new album and her 2013 debut Pure Heroine, revealing she needed time to get used to becoming an adult.

"I think I had that year; everyone has that first year that feels like the first proper year of adulthood," she recalls. "I moved out of home and all of a sudden I was kind of figuring out who am I when I’m alone? Who am I when I’m doing things just for myself? And I feel like you can really hear that on this record."