Lorde says she’s “happy to be a D.C. meme” after swimming in Washington’s Potomac River

Lorde has responded to fans’ concerns over her swimming in the Potomac River, joking that she’s “happy to be a [Washington] D.C. meme”.

The ‘Solar Power’ singer-songwriter was performing at The Anthem music venue in D.C. on Monday night (August 29) as part of the North American leg of her 2022 world tour.

  • READ MORE: ‘Melodrama’ at five: how Lorde’s cinematic pop opus inspired a new generation of artists

At one point in the show, Lorde told the audience: “I was thinking today, I was lying in the Potomac River… I love getting to swim in water where I’m playing, it makes me feel like I know you a bit better.”


The river in question, which forms part of the borders between Maryland and Washington, D.C., has a reputation for having issues with water quality levels, bacteria and other forms of contamination.

Public swimming in the Potomac has therefore been banned in Washington D.C. since 1971. However, some local people are calling for the the ban to be lifted due to recent improvements in water quality (via FOX 5 DC).

Lorde’s admission of breaking the longstanding rule was met by cheers and awkward laugher from the crowd on Monday. Some people later expressed their concerns online, with one writing: “We must say goodbye to Lorde for she has a flesh eating disease.”

A video has since emerged of the singer addressing the revelation during a post-gig conversation with fans. Appearing to have been unaware of the ban, Lorde said: “No?! I think all is well.

“But now I know why you were laughing. I’m happy to be a D.C. meme, you know?” You can watch that clip and see more reactions below.


Lorde recently shared an update on upcoming new music, saying that she had been “spending long days in a dark room” working on it.

The comments came after the New Zealand artist said back in June that she was “getting nearer” to writing nothing but “bangers” again. Her third and most recent album, last year’s ‘Solar Power’, saw Lorde move away from the euphoric sounds of ‘Melodrama’ (2017) in favour of a more introspective and delicate musical style.

“It’s so interesting to me how writing a big, bright pop song has been the thing that’s defined my life,” she explained.

  • READ MORE: The most magical moments from Lorde’s mystical Glastonbury 2022 set

“This thing I started trying to do when I was 14-years-old because I would turn on the radio and love that feeling, what it did to me. It became like an addiction, I just wanted to keep trying to construct the perfect thing that would hit you in the heart emotionally, over three-and-a-half minutes.”

NME gave Lorde’s ‘Solar Power’ a glowing five-star review upon it release, calling the record “a dazzling hat-trick from a master of her craft”.

“This is an album that grows in quiet stature with every listen, new nuggets of wisdom making their way to the surface, peeking through its beautiful instrumentation that weaves a stunning, leafy tapestry.”