Lorde revealed the meaning of the song is about going to parties and hooking up, in which she pierces an atmosphere of hedonism with stabs of melancholy. Lorde also revealed
“It’s lived a million lives, we’ve tried it at different tempos, used different voicings, took it half time, made it weird and druggy, but that didn’t work. A big problem is that there’s so much to the song. The other day I had a breakthrough: What if we delete the entire prechorus? Just take it out, and I never have to hear it again in my life? We did, and now the whole thing follows a much simpler trajectory. But we still haven’t cracked the code.”
Lorde revealed the idea for the multitracked voices 'belting out the words together beneath the main vocal like a choir of clones' came to her and Jack Antonoff while recording. Antonoff reportedly asked her to “do some shouty, bratty ones,[...] In the room it’ll sound crazy, but in the mix it’ll sound like a bunch of kids.”
The song was also written by Andrew Wyatt, alongside Antonoff and Lorde.
She later released the track list for Melodrama which showed "Perfect Places" was the 11th song on the track list. She teased the single by releasing a series of three photos, the first reading:
"FRIDAY JUNE 2, 2PM NYC, 6AM NZ"
The second read:
"Every night I die, feel the party to my bones", and the third "Watch the wasters blow the speakers, spill my guts beneath the outdoor light, it's just another graceless night". The song was then released on June 1st as a single.
"Perfect Places" received critical acclaim. Jenn Pelly of Pitchfork gave it the title of "Best New Track". Winston Cook-Wilson of Spin compared the song to "Green Light", where Lorde is "broadcasting to us from the middle of some strobe-illuminated party: feeling rebellious, listening to radio hits so loud they threaten to "blow the speakers", then spitting those songs' sentiments back out at us her own way." He added,
"There is a charm to the imperfectness of "Perfect Places", in that this is a song very much about not knowing what the f--k you are doing or why... There's no one perfect place or perfect song; there's no muse to follow except your own, even when pursuing it leaves you feeling just as lost ("young and ashamed") as you were at the start."
In the US, the song peaked at #13 on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart, #29 on Billboard Alternative Songs chart, and #27 on the Billboard Adult Alternative Songs chart.
|Premiere||August 3 2017 (USA)|
|Exec. producer||Nina Soriano|
On June 21, she wrote an open letter that she was filming a music video and then on August 1, she gave a hint on Instagram that she would be releasing it on Thursday, August 3, with Grant Singer directing it, who also penned Green Light. The video is most likely filmed in Japan.
In the video, Lorde is seen in a number of different locations, including a tropical waterfall, a deserted beach and a grassy field.
Lorde performed the song on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on 16 June 2017, the same day Melodrama was released. She has also performed the song at the Much Music Video Awards on 18 June 2017, and a stripped down version accompanied with a choir at Late Night with Seth Meyers on 17 July 2017.
- The Return of Lorde - The New York Times
- Revealed on Lorde's Twitter
- Lorde Shares New Song “Perfect Places”: Listen - Pitchfork