By Maryjane Perez | 8 February 2023
Growing up in Los Angeles, with parents who work in the entertainment industry, Gracie Abrams has always been surrounded by people’s desire for creative expression and love for the arts. Abrams first embarked on her personal journey of self expression at a very young age, beginning to journal and write songs at 8 years old. Now, at age 22, she maintains that childlike ability to be honest and open.
Some people are avoidant when it comes to expressing their innermost thoughts, but Abrams does not shy away from sharing her truths. Her ability to present herself to the world unabashedly makes me feel encouraged to do the same.
Recording her music in her room invites listeners to feel Abrams’ experiences on a deeper level than studio recorded music: the soft vocals, slow melodies, and light instrumentals of the songs create an intimate experience for fans. The stripped down sound accompanied by the raw lyrics provides a real look into what makes Abrams’ humanity apparent.
Abrams’ music conveys the growing pains, heartaches, sufferings, and self discoveries that are part of everyday life. She is vocal about her mental health and insecurities; anxiety in particular is a recurring struggle for her. In her song “Alright,” Abrams describes the ways in which she pushes her troubles to the sidelines: “I still avoid medication / I’d rather take a vacation / Drive around all of the outlets / Buy things and later regret it.”In “Block Me Out,” listeners hear a more detailed depiction of what her anxieties feel like: “I’ve been thinkin’ way too loud / I wish that I could block me out” and “I think I’m burning alive / but nobody sees the fire.” In every song, she creates a personal connection with her fans through her vulnerability.
Though her audience has grown over the years, Abrams’ vulnerability in her music has remained consistent. Staying true to her roots, she writes songs the way she writes journal entries—the secret formula to succeeding in the bedroom pop genre. Her writing style is an inspiration to anyone who is striving to be genuine and true to themselves and their experiences.
Notably, Olivia Rodrigo cited Abrams as an inspiration when writing her hit song, “Driver’s License.” Rodrigo wanted to create a song that offered the same effortless honesty and confessional-style of Abrams’ music.
Most recently, Abrams has opened up about her uncertainty, pain, and regret after ending a broken relationship. In true Gracie Abrams fashion, the new single, “Where do we go now?” (dropped on January 12, 2023) features a lofi-beat and delicate keyboards to accompany her signature soft vocals: “It was one-sided hate how I hurt you / If I could I’d have changed every feeling.”
It can be hard to take accountability for the times when we hurt the people we love, but, like most circumstances, Abrams owns up to her faults and mistakes. She admits to the damage she caused in the relationship and shows remorse for the hurt she inflicted upon her partner. Like most of us do, she wishes she could go back and change the negative feelings of that experience.
After some reflection, Abrams seems hopeful that the relationship could be repaired later in life: “We could meet down the line / After all of the time and / Give an actual try.” It’s common to want things to ultimately turn out for the better and to think that all wounds can be healed with time. When we aren’t ready to fully let someone go, it’s easier to contemplate situations where things work out and hope for them to become our reality. Abrams is no exception to this way of coping with losing a relationship. However, this may simply be wishful thinking rather than a genuine belief that things could be salvaged.
The repetition of, “Where do we go now?” ends the song with a feeling of uncertainty. Abrams has completely bared her soul, and there’s nothing left but to question what comes next. While listening to these words, I found myself wondering what exactly Abrams meant. Where do they go from here as individuals or in their potentially restored relationship? Either way, it’s an emotional and beautiful journey that Abrams has written with skill that exceeds her age. Tune in here.