With only few weeks left until Lorde’s album, Melodrama, comes out, the 20-year-old singer-songwriter has shared another single, “Perfect Places.” The song follows “Green Light” and “Liability,” both of which were promising signs of a great album to come.
Opening with a minimal electronic drum beat, Lorde’s voice is bare, as she harmonizes with herself, singing, “Every night, I live and die / Feel the party to my bones / Watch the wasters blow the speakers / Spill my guts beneath the outdoor light.” The song grows, reverb-drenched layers of her voice begin to appear, causing the harmonies to expand all across the canvas. A once-minimal drum beat gets decorated with stuttering hi-hats and electronic percussion. Lorde touches on youthful lust and one-night stands: “Meet somebody, take ’em home / Let’s kiss and then take off our clothes / It’s just another graceless night.” “Young” and “ashamed” are the words she uses to describe those perfect places. But at the end of the song, she asks, “What the fuck are perfect places anyway?” The track’s ability to build from a small drum loop to a climactic pop anthem is one of Lorde’s spectacular gifts as an artist.
Lorde shared a note on Facebook about “Perfect Places.” She writes, “i was living in new york during summer last year, writing melodrama – i’d ride across the brooklyn bridge every day, or sit on the subway uptown in the heat, then go back home to new zealand winter for a week at a time to party with my friends.” Describing her life at the time as “a weird little etch-a-sketch i kept scribbling on and resetting,” she shares that this song is close to her heart.