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.
(via Consequence of Sound.)