Lorde Sings Use Somebody: A 12 year old Lorde covers Kings of Leon (VIDEO).

Listen to a 12-Year-Old Lorde Do a Surprisingly Brilliant Cover of “Use Somebody”

Listen to a 12-Year-Old Lorde Do a Surprisingly Brilliant Cover of “Use Somebody”

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Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
Nov. 3 2014 9:45 PM

Listen to 12-Year-Old Lorde’s Lovely, Mature Cover of “Use Somebody”

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Lorde.

Photo by Roger Kisby/Getty Images for TAO Downtown

Usually, when we unearth an early performance by a now-famous musician, the song’s quality is not the draw: It’s the novelty that’s thrilling, the rough-edged rumblings of potential genius that excite us. Not so with Lorde. The Kiwi covered Kings of Leon cut “Use Somebody” at a mere 12 years of age, and the performance showcases a singer already in full and confident control of her talent.

In fact, 12-year-old Lorde sounds a lot like Lorde today, right down to the quirky inflections and effortless range of her voice. She performed the cover in 2008 on a New Zealand radio show. Five years later she released “Royals,” which made her the youngest solo artist to top the U.S. charts in more than 20 years.

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Sharan Shetty is on the editorial staff of the New Yorker. You can follow him on Twitter