Featured Photo Credit: Danielle Neu
Singer-songwriter Gracie Abrams is ditching the often common altruism of sad-girl indie in her debut album Good Riddance.
Throughout the 12-song project co-written and produced by Aaron Dessner of The National, Abrams brings the listener along in her journey of self-awareness. Despite being 22, the maturity that she displays in not only the themes she explores but the action of sharing what she has learned with listeners is profound.
“The songs came from trying to look at myself very honestly and hold myself accountable,” says Abrams. “Aaron supported me through all that, while also challenging me in all the ways I’d ever dreamed a creative partner would.”
The first song of the album “Best,” sets the tone literally and figuratively – sad, slow, easy listening. We are so used to hearing songs in this style from the receiving end of heartbreak that it takes careful listening to understand that Abrams is the one on the other side.
It is far easier to villanize someone who hurt you than to imagine their experience. From “I should hate you” and the way it touches on the polarity we are expected to fall into once a relationship has ended to “Fault line” and its take on mutual toxicity, brutal honesty is plentiful.
What Good Riddance lacks in variation is made up for quickly by Abrams’ awakening lesson on the nuances of true empathy. Whether we like it or not, it is human to hurt others. Recognizing that there is far more than good and bad or right and wrong allows the opportunity for improvement in ourselves and one another, no matter how uncomfortable it is to acknowledge.
Throughout the album, Abrams draws parallels to lyrics in her past work. While an easter egg is undoubtedly special for those who have been following along since her 2019 breakout “Mean It,” when used too much they lose their magic.
Those longtime admirers include artists such as Olivia Rodrigo, Phoebe Bridgers, and Taylor Swift whom she will be joining for select dates on her Eras Tour. Abram’s Good Riddance Tour kicked off on March 6 in Chicago and will continue through April 11. For more information, and to purchase tickets, visit www.gracieabrams.com/tour.