Photography Vince Aung

10 things you need to know about bedroom pop angel Gracie Abrams

With a killer sense of humour and a voice full of vulnerability that'll break your heart, this LA singer-songwriter deserves your attention.

by Frankie Dunn
|
15 May 2020, 10:26am

Photography Vince Aung

Everybody loves Gracie. From the calm of her mood-lit room in Los Angeles, the 20-year-old singer-songwriter dreams up emotional bedroom pop that speaks to her almost 300k fans across the world. Before lockdown she had her first run of shows booked -- intimate venues in London, New York and Toronto -- which sold out immediately. A second, larger show was booked for her sad bop hungry London fans. Then the pandemic hit. With all gigs on ice, Gracie embraced the comfort of her bedroom, shooting a DIY lyric video for her addictive and all-too-relatable “I miss you, I’m sorry” on her webcam. Just her performing to camera in a hoodie, fist pumping at the parts that hit hardest. It dropped in April and swiftly racked up over 2.5 million views.

The release followed singles “21” and “Stay”, both vulnerable accounts of a relationship nearing its end -- Gracie’s voice incredibly delicate but cradling the power to break even the toughest heart. “I listen to such a weird variety of stuff, so I appreciate pulling sonic inspiration from different corners,” she tells us, citing artists including Carole King, The 1975, Joni Mitchell and Tyler, The Creator as just some of her favourites. “But honestly it’s my relationships that I feel I’m always really writing about: my relationship with myself or someone else.”

Currently locked down with her family and her two dogs (“one is neurotic and one has these huge eyes”), she’s finding quarantine weird and unsettling. “There are new anxieties,” she says of the impact of the pandemic. “It’s taught me not to take my family for granted. It has also made me acutely aware of how uneven the playing field is. My heart just hurts for everyone right now.”

Powered by an unhealthy obsession with cinnamon Chex and the drive to keep on creating, in lieu of her IRL debut show, Gracie performed a beautiful acoustic set on i-D’s IG live last week. Afterwards, we caught up and got to know her a little better. Do the same via these 10 quite interesting facts...

1. As a child, Gracie had an unusual choice of bedtime music
“In elementary school I had a light blue CD player in my room and a CD of Green Day's American Idiot, which I played every night when I turned my lights off. Weird.”

2. She wrote her first ever song when she was just 8
“It was over the drums and there was one lyric which was 'I hate myself,' and it sounded gorgeous.”

3. Gracie defines her music as 'sad' but it makes her feel good
“I feel so much better, mentally and emotionally, after writing. I took making music seriously in that way, before I ever even considered releasing anything.”

4. Director J.J. Abrams is her dad
“But honestly, the most fun thing about my dad’s job was when he left it to chaperone my first time at Coachella.”

5. Her lyrics are born from journal entries and she’s got some good tips for keeping one
“Try for just five minutes a day. Journaling doesn’t feel right for everyone, but even if I’m exhausted or angry or whatever, I always try to give myself five minutes at least to get something down.”

6. The i-N SESSION she did on i-D’s Instagram last week was her first gig. For real
“Thank you so much for letting me do that! Yes, I have never played a live show but I have been loving rehearsals. I just want to hug everybody.”

7. She can’t imagine relocating from her bedroom to a huge venue rn
“Regardless of the space though, I always want it to feel intimate. I don’t know how I’d be able to do it any other way.”

8. According to Gracie, the best place in LA is a historic ranch surrounded by hiking trails up in the Santa Monica mountains, which sounds ideal right now
“Will Rogers Park is my favourite place :-)”

9. Of all the fictional characters ever, Gracie reckons she’s probably most like these two Bikini Bottom dwelling cartoon sea creatures
“Squidward maybe. Or maybe Spongebob... it fluctuates.”

10. Gracie has an awesome 2020 goal
“I want to get as many people to vote as possible.”

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Gracie Abrams