Lorde has released her new single Solar Power along with the music video.
The track is a summery ode to warm weather and reflects the cover art.
"I hate the winter, can't stand the cold, I tend to cancel all the plans, she sings in the first verse.
"When the heat comes, something takes hold. Can I kick it? Yeah, I can."
The summery jam sees Lorde spring into a happy-guitar backed track. She sings about tossing her phone in the water so nobody can reach her.
The music video features Lorde dancing around a beach with a group of friends in a gorgeous yellow skirt and crop top.
Lorde also alludes to her partner in the track, rumoured to be music executive Justin Warren: "My boy behind me, he's taking pictures."
The singer has sent out a personal message to her fans via her email mailing list, and elaborated on the inspiration behind her new era.
"The album is a celebration of the natural world, an attempt at immortalising the deep, transcendent feelings I have when I'm outdoors," she explained.
"Her feet are bare at all times. She's sexy, playful, feral, and free. She's a modern girl in a deadstock bikini, in touch with her past and future, vibrating at the highest level when summer comes around," Lorde wrote.
"Her skin is glowing, her lovers are are many. I'm completely obsessed with her, and soon you will be too."
She confirmed Solar Power is the title track from her upcoming album.
"It's my divine pleasure to be introducing you, at long last, to my third studio album."
Singer pays homage to New Zealand
In a homage to her homeland, Lorde was sporting Kiwi designer Georgia Alice, who yesterday announced she was retiring the international brand. For the cover art the songstress wore the designer's Knit Pearl top, as well as a dress, top and skirt from the brand, in newly released images.
The Grammy-winner says: "I made everything with friends here in New Zealand. My best mate Ophelia took the cover photo, lying on the sand as I leapt over her, both of us laughing.
"The director who made my first ever music video, Joel, helped me create the videos, building an entire cinematic universe that I can't wait for you to see."
She says the new album "encapsulates" where she's from.
Fans in New Zealand are adjusting to winter weather, and Lorde joked about being a "Southern Hemisphere" baby.
"I know that's literally IMPOSSIBLE for you all to wrap your little heads around so don't worry about it."
Eagle-eyed fans suggest the music video may have been filmed at a beach on Waiheke Island.
Song released after leak
The song was released on streaming services at 10 am today after it was apparently earlier leaked online.
Esquire reported that the song appeared briefly on some streaming sites - Tidal and Amazon Music - but was taken down after a few minutes.
Rumours Lorde was set to release new music went viral on Twitter last week before the artist confirmed a new album was on its way and shared the cover art on her website.
A new photo on her website revealed the cover artwork for Solar Power alongside a brief message: "Arriving in 2021 ... Patience is a virtue".
The cover art is strikingly different to her previous albums - and it has fans excited for new music as she hasn't released an album for four years.
While there's no hint of a release date or song titles, speculation grew last week after one site revealed two singles would be released "very soon".
The account claimed Lorde would release new songs from her third album, a lead single called Solar Power and a promo song Mood Ring, within the same week.
Her plea for patience from her fans echoes her statement from an email newsletter sent to fans last year, when she confirmed she had once again teamed up with Jack Antonoff to make new music.
"I understand — I want nothing more than to feed you treats, pop perfect morsels straight into your little mouths," she wrote to her fans at the time.
"But as I get older I realise there's something to be said for the pleasant feeling of waiting for something of quality to become available to you. You could have something of lesser quality much faster, but as the high quality thing comes into fruition, a warm feeling grows inside you. Do you know what I mean?"
She hasn't released new music since the critically acclaimed 2017 album Melodrama and has dipped in and out of the public eye with email updates to her fans and even an Instagram story encouraging fans to vote in last year's general election.
Since then, Lorde has released the Going South photo book, and, more recently, been announced as a Primavera 2022 headliner.
The Green Light singer has booked a slot at Barcelona's Primavera Festival in 2022, potentially signalling she is about to release new music and will head out on tour.