Lorde's music has always been well beyond her years, but Melodrama marked a new plane of maturity, trading teenage glory for complex reflections on love and loneliness. In "Green Light," she ditched a crowded nightclub to roam the city and dance alone, and Lorde's "Perfect Places" video finds her once again embracing solitude. In the clip, released on Thursday, the 20-year-old singer jets off to sprawling beaches, lush forests, and waterfall oases, but her globe-trotting will do more than give you wanderlust; it will make you rethink what really counts.
The visuals play like a deliberate kiss-off to the blurred nights she describes. "Every night, I live and die, meet somebody, take 'em home," she sings. Then later, "Now I can't stand to be alone." But in "Perfect Places," she revels in her isolation: pouring a cup of tea on an oceanside balcony, swaying around a barren room and a blazing fire.
Together, the video and lyrics play like a call-and-response. The Lorde depicted in the song is jaded, numb, fed up with a world that offers her little more than fleeting memories. But the one on-screen is uninhibited and proud, free to find herself, not lose her.
In a post annotating the lyrics on Genius.com, Lorde wrote that she penned the song during a feverish New York summer:
"Perfect Places," then, upends what exactly "perfect" means. Being young isn't about living with abandon, but making mistakes, embracing difficulty, finding meaning. And for many people, that soul-searching can't be done amid wild nights and raucous parties, but by truly seeing the world — not necessarily by traveling, but by simply being present. In "Perfect Places," Lorde does both.