"Ribs" is the fourth track from Lorde's debut album, Pure Heroine. The song was written by Lorde along with Joel Little. The song was released on September 30th, 2013 as a promotional single for the album, and its lyrics describe Lorde's (not so) secret fear of growing older. It recieved generally positive reviews from critics.

Production and CompositionEdit

For "Ribs", all of the instrumentation and mixing was done by Joel Little , but was mainly written by Lorde herself. In addition, it was written in Janurary 2013 on the same day as the Auckland Laneway Festival. The track's lyrics describe the stresses of aging, and how Lorde is afraid of the process.

The song is set at a moderate 124 beats per minute, and is performed in the key of A♭ major.


"Ribs" was released as a promotional single on September 30th, 2013, and was iTune's "Single of the Week" upon its release. It was first performed at various shows prior to its official release.


Most reviewers gave the song "Ribs" positive reviews. For example, Lindsay Zolaz of Pitchfork described the promotional single as:

...the best song that this very promising songwriter has written so far because—even at the risk of seeming uncool— it gradually allows the walls to crumble. "It feels so crazy, getting old," she sighs at the beginning, in a smoky pantomime of maturity and detachment—sort of like a sepia-toned Instagram filter applied to her voice.

Soon, though, the beat ramps up and the song turns into an impressionistic swirl of memories: "The drink you spilled all over me/ 'Lover’s Spit' left on repeat." She gets so caught up in the feeling that she lets herself blurt something truly vulnerable: "I've never felt more alone/ It feels so scary, getting old."

Lorde’s music is quietly wise to a particular modern irony: Beneath every #DGAF there’s a person who secretly gives a fuck about something, and behind every anti-pop song there’s a singer who—just like everybody else—knows what it’s like to feel happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time.

—Lindsay Zoladz

The song has not yet entered the Billboard Hot 100, but peaked as high as 26th place on international charts.


  • Le Poisson Rouge - New York City, USA
  • Vector Arena - Auckland, New Zealand
  • The Fonda Theatre - Los Angeles, USA
  • Warsaw Venue - Brooklyn, USA
  • Late Show with David Letterman - New York City, USA


  • EmperorAguila - Even though "Ribs" is one of my least favorite tracks on Pure Heroine, I do still like it a lot. The best part of the song is the nostalgia that it brings, which I am sure is deliberate. It is Lorde's favorite song herself, and I would recommend listening to it.
  • User:MasterSkymning - This is a great song. The lyrics are deep and it's production is pretty good. I give it a 7.8 out of 10.


Chart Peak Position
Australian Streaming Tracks (ARIA) 36
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ) 29
UK Streaming (Official Streaming Chart) 92
US Hot Rock Songs (Billboard) 26

Lyrics Edit