Lorde unveils Perfect Places from upcoming album
A newly grown-up Lorde sang of the despair that can creep up on sticky summer nights as she premiered a polished new pop single on Friday at the Governors Ball Music Festival.
Governors Ball, the first and longest-running festival in New York's increasingly busy summer music season, opened under visibly tighter security with police and counter-terrorism units stationed every few metres at exits to the venue on Randall's Island off the city's East River.
The festival opened less than two weeks after a suicide bomber killed 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester and the same day that one of Europe's largest hard rock festivals, Rock am Ring in Germany, was evacuated over a threat.
But once inside Governors Ball, tension was nowhere to be seen on a balmy day with the young crowd taking in four stages of music, mini-golf and firework shows to close off sets by Lorde and headliner Chance the Rapper.
Lorde took to the stage in a white veil, which the 20-year-old New Zealander elegantly lifted to display engaging eye contact. She performed live for the first time Perfect Places, the third single off her sophomore album Melodrama, which comes out on June 16.
After finding fame while still a teenager with the minimalist viral hit Royals, Lorde has turned to a more elaborate pop sound - and more adult themes.
Like the album's first single, Green Light, Lorde sings of going out on the town. On Perfect Places, the setting is New York in the heat of the summer of 2016 - "another graceless night", she sings of the drinking and casual romance.
As with her handful of other recent shows, Lorde turned the set into a tableau vivant with actors dining, dancing and fighting in a tinted-glass room elevated above the stage. She also brought out a guest to play guitar on Perfect Places - Jack Antonoff, the alternative rocker who worked closely with Lorde on Melodrama.