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"A World Alone" was written by Lorde (credited under Ella Yelich O'Connor) and Joel Little. It contains a "roaring dance beat". Lyrically the song depicts a world "which is composed of haters, existential musings, endless Internet chatter and the one person with whom can escape all the judgments."

The closing lyric to this song (and to the album overall), "Let 'em talk" can be related to the opening lyric of the album, "Don't you think that it's boring how people talk?" in Tennis Court. Another thing to note is that sometimes she adds the line "The sky gets dark and people are talking, I follow my heart and people are talking" when performing it live.

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