By Sara Nigro
Up-and-coming indie pop artist Gracie Abrams released her melancholy debut album “Good Riddance” on Friday, Feb. 24.
Relatively new to the industry, “Good Riddance” is Abrams’ first album following the release of her EPs “Minor” in July 2020 and “This is What It Feels Like” in November 2021.
The album amplifies her usual whisper-soft tone and deep cutting lyrics to portray a story full of heartache and reflection as she struggles with internal conflicts within her personal relationships. Inspired by a recent breakup, her lyrics constitute a vulnerability that can stand on their own.
In addition to her honest writing, the production completes each and every song. This can be accredited to producer Aaron Dessner, known for being an original member of the rock band The National and for his collaborations with Taylor Swift on her Grammy nominated albums “Folklore” and “Evermore.”
Prior to the release of the entire album, Abrams periodically released her singles “Where do we go now?”, “Amelie” and “Difficult.” Strategically, these singles allowed for an accurate prediction of what the entire album would be — emotional, conflicting and painfully relatable.
“Difficult” was a fast favorite for me, as it has an upbeat tune to accompany her usual melancholy lyrics. The production reflects her lyrics in this song while intensifying at the same time, allowing the listener to feel captivated into the song itself.
“Amelie” tells such an interesting story, one that seems to go untold most of the time. While many artists focus on the intimate relationships between loved ones, examining the love and heartbreak, Abrams describes the impact strangers can have on one another. She sings about the blurred lines between dreams and reality and the surrealness of the stranger’s impact on her.
My personal favorite song of the album is “This is what the drugs are for” because of the beautiful and unique lyricism. Avoiding the easy cliches, Abrams tells her stories in a noteworthy way, as demonstrated in the bridge, “I'm still waitin' by the phone / You painted my life indigo, oh / A kind of blue I hate to know, oh / Where everything turns kinda cold.”
The line “You painted my life indigo” is so fascinating to me as a listener and immediately drew my attention. Her personal way of explaining her experiences gives a real and honest insight into her narrative as a whole.
Abrams also never shies away from a good, impactful metaphor, as demonstrated by her lyrics in “Full Machine.” She sings, “I’m a shameless caller / You’re a full machine” in the first verse and then continues this theme in the second, “I'm a forest fire / You're the kerosene.”
While she is new to the music scene, Abrams has already earned herself a strong fanbase. With only 2 EP’s released, she has announced her tour starting on March 6. She also has gained recent recognition from Taylor Swift, as Abrams has been selected to be one of the opening acts on her “Eras Tour.”
Similar to Swift, Abrams has a talent for writing gut-wrenching bridges. The most evident example of this is in her single “Where do we go now?” Abrams writes “‘cause now I’m half of myself here without you / You're the best in my life and I lost you / And we had no control when it fell through / It was one-sided, hate how I hurt you.”
Abrams is able to reflect on her mistakes and her feelings in regards to herself rather than place the blame on a singular person. In some songs, Abrams describes the pain of losing someone you love and in others she sings about the guilt she feels for her own mistakes. The back and forth of constantly changing emotions creates a depth and understanding between the listener and Abrams herself, rounding out not only her album, but a complete story.