Lorde released the second single from her imminent new album Melodrama that’s due June 16th. “Perfect Places” follows the jubilant kiss-off, “Green Light,” with a darker take on the teenage party circuit,The song roars with Jack Antonoff’s signature wall-of-sound choruses. But the verse structures are punctuated with throbbing syncopation, giving the song a dark, R&B sensibility. Lorde’s lyrics match the tone. The song is more confessional than her other songs. “I’m 19 and I’m on fire,” she sings, deadpan yet defiant, writing herself into the story. It’s upbeat and stage-ready, but the heft of her weariness is palpable.
But Lorde isn’t a teen anymore. She’s a young adult, 20 years old, and the singles we have gotten so far from her forthcoming sophomore record Melodrama seem to suggest she’s gotten just a tad more earnest. The personal songwriting of “Liability” and “Green Light,” the latter which mined her recent, public break-up, couldn’t be farther from the sullen and snarky minimalist pop of Pure Heroine,Lorde, an actual teenager, was admirably sneering and over it all. “Don’t you think it’s boring how people talk?” she’d start a song, which was nothing new for a teenager to say but certainly felt novel in a chart.