The most noticeable difference between Pure Heroine-era Lorde and the material she’s shared from upcoming sophomore record Melodrama is the poppier exterior. But on the latest track from Melodrama, ‘Perfect Places’, we are treated to something that could’ve conceivably featured on her debut album. The track begins with a syncopated drumbeat similar to Pure Heroine cut ‘Team’ but the landscape has twisted into something crueller than the dystopia Lorde envisioned on that particular track. The track charts Lorde’s search for perfection in an increasingly imperfect world where the weather is too hot and ‘all of our heroes are fading’.
The truth is, as Lorde points out throughout the song, there’s no such thing as the ‘perfect place’. Even when she finds that balance, perhaps when she’s dancing to the ideal track, it’s not perfect, it’s just ‘alright’. That desire for a spontaneously perfect night or moment morphs into a quest to stave off loneliness. And at just 20 years old, Lorde is already experienced enough to know that perfection will always be out of reach. ‘What the fuck are perfect places anyway?’ she asks rhetorically in the last line of the track. ‘Perfect Places’ is about taking the glorious with the ‘graceless’ and even if that quest is doomed from the start, Lorde makes it incredibly hard to resist tagging along.