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Read Lorde and Conor Oberst Gushing About Each Other

'Pure Heroine' royal and 'Upside Down Mountain' man trade compliments

Lorde’s ascension already has the blessing of a whole hemisphere’s worth of royals. Bruce Springsteen, Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, Kansas City Royals Hall of Famer George Brett. (Also: CHVRCHES, Son Lux, and Flume.) Now add to that list current SPIN cover star Conor Oberst.

The Pure Heroine singer and the Bright Eyes leader, the latter of whom just released a new solo album titled Upside Down Mountain, revealed their mutual admiration in a conversation for The New York Times.

Oberst said he responded to a youthful lack of cynicism in Lorde’s 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,” he told her. “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, for her part, had plenty of praise for Oberst, whose work she said she’d gotten into through her boyfriend. “The way you express emotion as a songwriter, it’s, like, childlike,” she said. “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.”

She also complimented Oberst’s way with imagery, saying, “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!”

Check out the full talk over at the Times and don’t miss the Oberst cover story by SPIN’s David Bevan.