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Released: 2017

“Supercut” by Lorde is a hauntingly beautiful exploration of the end of a relationship, dominated by the tension between reality and idealized memory. Embellished by the artistry of Lorde’s precise lyricism, it masterfully encapsulates the melancholic nostalgia that emerges in heartbreak’s aftermath.

Beginning with, “In my head, I play a supercut of us / All the magic we gave off / All the love we had and lost,” Lorde describes how she replays the best moments of a past relationship—a ‘supercut’, if you will (a rapid, condensed sequence of short shots in film). It’s a testament to the pain of a severed bond, capturing the human tendency to sift through the fragments of a relationship, cherry-picking the bright spots, often at the expense of the harsh truths and the reasons why things ended.

The continual refrain “In your car, the radio up / We keep tryin’ to talk about us” chronicles the repeated attempts to salvage the relationship, amplifying the poignant yearning with each iteration. The pervading motif of the ‘car’ works as a metaphor for their shared journey and the intimate moments spent in confined spaces, with the ‘radio up’ symbolising distraction from their crumbling reality.

The lines “I’m someone, you may be my love / I’ll be your quiet afternoon crush / Be your violent overnight rush / Make you crazy over my touch” expose her deep-seated desire to fit into multiple roles, just so she could keep the relationship alive, signaling emotional desperation.

Crucially, Lorde portrays a stark contrast between the illusory ‘supercut’ and the real heartache with “So I fall / Into continents and cars / All the stages and the stars / I turn all of it to just a supercut”. The imagery of ‘falling into continents’ and ‘stages and stars’ underscores the vast scope of her emotional turmoil that she paradoxically reduces to a single ‘supercut’.

Towards the end, the self-deceptive nature of her thought process is revealed in the lines “In my head, I do everything right / When you call, I’ll forgive and not fight”. Here she’s trapped in an idealized version of events where conflict is absent, a clear contrast to the probable reality of their relationship.

Through “Supercut,” Lorde presents a lament about lost love that is both achingly specific and universally relatable. It’s a pop masterpiece that embodies the struggle between accepting the reality of a broken relationship and getting lost in the selectively edited highlights—a ‘supercut’ that conveniently masks the less flattering facets, the gritty undercurrents of human connection and its eventual dissolution.

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