Song: Royals

Artist: Lorde

Songwriters: Ella Yelich-O'Connor, Joel Little

Album: Pure Heroine

Release date: 3 June 2013

Genre: Pop, electro pop

Key: D Mixolydian

Chords in Key:















Royals features a drum beat, layered vocals and synth sounds, including synth bass. It has three chords which are used throughout the track. Royals is a rare example of monophonic texture in pop music. It eventually becomes homophonic with layered vocals and a synth bass, however these are relatively quiet, simple and only made to enhance the lead vocal itself rather than offer any kind of counterpoint.

It is in the key is D Mixolydian. D Mixolydian has the same chords as G Major, but uses the dominant (5th) scale as its tonic. Royals is in a pop song format.


The verses have no chords, only the vocal line over a simple drumbeat. The first two vocal lines use notes that indicate a probable D chord. In the second half of the verse the previous vocal line is transposed and diminution is used. It could be interpreted as a dominant 7th chord.

Pre-chorus and Chorus

The pre-chorus is when we hear the harmony vocals layered to create the chords. These are often called power chords in rock/pop terminology and are played by playing only the root note and 5th, leaving out the 3rd. The synth bass also enters, and remains for the rest of the song. It has a subtle wobble bass sound to it, often found in dubstep.

The pitch of the vocal is highest in the chorus, which is common in rock and pop songs to bring attention to this as the most important part of the song. It is also common to have the title of the song in the chorus.


The bridge uses the same chords as the chorus and pre-chorus, although is noticeably quieter than the chorus. It could be considered an alteration of the pre-chorus, as it has the same chords and ends with the same line before going back into the final chorus. It also uses vocables extensively, to create question and answer phrasing with the spoken vocals.



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