Pre-Royalty: Listen to And They Were Masked, Lorde’s weird experimental rock band from high school

When Lorde performs at Boston Calling next month, chances are most of the songs from her headlining set will be from last year’s breakthrough record Pure Heroine. Or maybe she’ll play something off the upcoming The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 soundtrack, of which she’s providing the lead single while also curating. Or maybe she’ll treat us to something new — she’s already working on her Pure Heroine follow-up, apparently.

What we won’t get, most likely, are any songs from And They Were Masked, her old high school band from back in Auckland, New Zealand. Recordings of the songs, which are making the internet rounds this week, date back to 2011 and 2012, when Lorde was better known by her birth name, Ella Yelich O’Connor.

You can listen to two tracks, “Piece Of Mind” and “Sands of John,” below; and They Were Masked’s entire 2012 record, Characters, is available to hear via Bandcamp.

The band’s Facebook page, which currently has 330 likes (and sure to grow in the coming days), lists the following as influences: “Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, Battles, Fugazi, Tera Melos, Nevernudes, soundgarden, New Telepathics, Seth frightening, mars volta, Dimmer, fela kuti, Wilberforces, Dirty three, sharpie crows, Sheep,Dog,&wolf, PJ Harvey, Mint Chicks, John Frusciante ATDI, Bloc Party, Massive attack.”


[h/t NME]