It is easy to imagine songs labelled an "anthem for the antisocial" to be an angry, angsty and energetic explosion of punky vibes or alt-rock venom. But that is exactly the opposite of how Los Angeles based, Korean-American artist London Thor describes her latest release.
“Place Like This” is a song for people who have always felt like an outsider growing up, who were baffled by the nuances of social interaction, who doubted their own worth and never found where they fitted in. And we have all been there to some degree at one time or another.
"There's so much pressure to be social and act a certain way, and growing up it can sometimes feel worse to be alone with your thoughts than trying to do what you can to fit in somewhere that you're not comfortable." -London
The track is a disarmingly sweet song. Chilled alt-pop vibes and London Thor's unadorned, unfussy but wonderfully beguiling vocals work together to make the song so easy on the ear, something that you don't expect from such subject matter. And lyrically too, it is a master class in “less is more.”
Rather than trying to smash the system or rage against the machine, Thor merely advocates being yourself. She reminds us that trying too hard to fit in is actually the thing which obliterates what makes you interesting in the first place. If the song is about revolutions then it is about quiet, personal ones. And those tend to be the only ones that truly work.
The video for the song was initially going to portray the idea of people at a party struggling with their own personal anxieties, of the idea of everyone being alone in a crowd to some degree. But a spike in Covid-19 cases and the separation which followed meant that a very different video emerged to accompany the song. One which works more obvious ideas of isolation naturally into the video too.
The result is a song and a video which perfectly speaks for its times and which develops the themes of not knowing where to fit in socially into a broader image of isolation and loneliness. Perhaps an even more perfect visual accompaniment to this poised, peripheral, pop song.