‘Sad Girl Pop’ has become a genre of its own.
A subsection of pop music that will have you crying on public transport, there are swathes of current leading ladies who master the art of vulnerable songwriting. A name that seems to be at the forefront of this, is Gracie Abrams.
It is hard to believe that Abrams, with slews of fans across the world, has only just released her first album. Her debut EP ‘Minor’, released in 2020, launched her to international stardom and cemented her as artist with a talent for penning lyrics that resonate with the heartbroken.
Across its 12 tracks, ‘Good Riddance’, is a deeply confessional offering, with decadent melodies and production that platform her distinctive vocal.
There’s much to be said of Gracie Abrams’ lyricism, how she dials into the complexities of relationships and pulls out emotions from the root. The record opens with ‘Best’, a track that hears Abrams take responsibility for a strained relationship, admitting to a past partner: “I never was the best to you”.
The theme of guilt seems present throughout the record, with tracks like 2022 released ‘Difficult’ questioning whether she’s capable of sitting in a relationship, blaming herself for her “terrible condition”.
Musically, there’s an evident shift in the direction of her sound. Whether a deliberate choice from Abrams, or a natural progression due to a change in producer.
Working alongside The National’s Aaron Dessner, whom she previously worked with on 2021 project ‘This Is What It Feels Like’, we hear elements alternative folk blended with playful electronics. While it works for much of the record, with seamless strings played on ‘The Blue’ and ‘Amelie’, Abram’s talent for telling stories with her music is perhaps shadowed by synths and experimentation, such as that heard on recent single ‘Where Do We Go Now’.
‘Good Riddance’ may go down as a heartbreak album, with “I know it Won’t Work’ and ‘Will You Cry’ both alluding to a breakup. Yet many lyrics hear Abrams turn inwards, dissecting her mental health, her family, her friends and perhaps the woes that come with navigating your early 20s.
Although she sings as though she’s trying to heal deep wounds, it feels like Gracie Abrams has created a space to heal on her debut record. Closing with ‘Right Now’, she shares with listeners: “I feel like myself right now”.
Words: Isabella Miller // @IzzyRMiller