Charli XCX’s Simon Le Bon Duet, Lorde’s Bright Eyes Cover Surface

Marc Hogan

By Marc Hogan

Lead News Writer
on 11.14.14 in News

The final pieces of Lorde‘s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1 soundtrack are falling into place, and for better or worse it’s shaping up to be as ambitious as the tracklist suggested.

“Kingdom,” Charli XCX‘s collaboration with Duran Duran‘s Simon Le Bon — whose name was amusingly misspelled as “Simon Bon” on the initial iTunes listing — turns out to be not the gaudy neon synth-pop (“I hate that term,” she once told SPIN) their twinned names might’ve suggested, but rather a melancholy, relatively downtempo duet with stuttering drums and neoclassical keyboard flourishes.

And the Pure Heroine ruler’s own cover of “Ladder Song,” from Bright Eyes‘ The People’s Key, treats Conor Oberst’s song the way other singers treat Leonard Cohen songs, translating the wordy, piano-based ballad into her own expressive goth-pop style.

The soundtrack, due out on November 17 ahead of the November 21 film, recently yielded its likeliest Top 40 material with Ariana Grande and Major Lazer‘s strobe-lit “All My Love” (which, by the way, might be a reason not to take Lorde and Diplo‘s recent Twitter exchange too seriously). The album has a star-studded rap presence in the form of “Meltdown,” with Pusha T and Q-Tip joined by HAIM. Also from the compilation, we’ve heard Lorde’s “Yellow Flicker Beat,” Kanye West‘s “Flicker” rework, Chvrches’ “Dead Air” and Miguel’s Chemical Brothers collaboration “This Is Not a Game.

Lorde, when not defending celebrities via social media, recently covered Jeremih‘s “Don’t Tell ‘Em.” Charli XCX’s new album Sucker is set to arrive on December 16 via Neon Gold/Atlantic Records, potentially ruining everyone’s year-end lists. The hit “Boom Clap” is on the tracklist, along with the previously revealed “Break the Rules” and “London Queen.” “I couldn’t give a fuck if people don’t think I made a ‘cool’ album,” she told Jillian Mapes in a recent, must-read Pitchfork interview.