Lorde’s new song somehow sounds even better live

It’s only been a few days since Lorde dropped the anti-party party song of the summer, “Perfect Places.” If you first heard it and thought, “Dang this would kill at festivals,” you’re right! The Kiwi singer didn’t waste any time slipping the song into her live set.

For this weekend’s Governor’s Ball festival in NYC, Lorde debuted “Perfect Places” for the festival crowd.


The song itself sounds totally upbeat; a real banger, if you will. But her being her, the singer chooses to weave a more complicated narrative throughout. “All of our heroes fading / Now I can’t stand to be alone” could be Melodrama‘s thesis. So there is an irony in seeing the song out in the festival world. “Perfect Places” does, in part, address those kinds of environments specifically. Of young kids experimenting with their bodies, their minds, and trying desperately to grapple with the sometimes loneliness of being alive.

It’s interesting to listen to Lorde suss out those boundaries for herself. After all this time, she isn’t the moody teenager with the knack for intense and small descriptors. She’s now moving firmly into the world of capital-P Pop, but still in her own defiantly ambivalent way. “Perfect Places” is another step into mainstream music platitudes, but in the live, it’s an on-the-nose assessment. Of the crowd against her music; of her against her music; of a music scene that is bigger than ever but still wants to seem small.