It's always interesting to me when a left-of-center artist who isn't particularly "radio friendly" has a big era because of a song (and sometimes a follow up single, if they're lucky) that manages to pierce the mainstream's ear. I guess I don't see this era as an underperformance as much as what I would expect out of an artist like her - commercially speaking - in today's world. I guess I'm saying I think Royals success was a fluke, and I think she probably even knows it was a fluke.
I think the first single was pop radio-friendly enough that if mainstream success was meant to be her lane - it would have been. I just think she's more of a small-but-loyal following, festival type of artist. New Zealand's answer to a Fiona Apple or Lana del Rey type. Maybe she's someone who can be around for a long time doing her own thing - just not a hit-maker with multi-platinum albums in the states.
Super solid album though, and won't be surprised if she gets some Grammy nominations.