Gracie Abrams introspects with ‘This is What it Feels Like’

Edeline Kalishevich

Gracie Abram’s first full-length project titled “This is What it Feels Like,came out on Nov. 12, showcasing a raw approach to pure bedroom pop.

This is Abram’s first release after her summer 2020 project titled “minor,” which explored her emotions freshly out of a devastating breakup.  The new album delves into her relationship with herself, separate from anyone else.

With this record, it was different because I felt like I was really focusing on my relationship with myself, considering we were in such wild bouts of selfisolation,  Abrams told Teen Vogue.

Abrams mentioned being grateful for her previous work so she can look back on her poor mental state with a sense of accomplishment, but with this album she took a different approach. It was created in the constraints of COVID-19 induced isolation and thus, Abrams had no choice but to take the time to explore her emotions toward herself.

The post-breakup period is painful yet cathartic, and Abrams demonstrates this through her song, “Feels Like.” This song opens the entire album; the very first note is a singular deep sigh, foreshadowing the private renderings of her mind to come. Unique in its ability to simultaneously bring listeners into her own personal experience, it also serves as a universal love proclamation.

This hit at the right time, and the euphoria of love is said to be about her appreciation for the past year she has spent living in New York City with her best friend. In tune with the rest of the album, the lyrics are sung with Abram’s soft, comforting voice to soothing instrumentals that symbolize the tenderness of new love.

In the accompanying music video, an intimate moment is shared between Abrams and her fans. Cutscenes of Abrams looking into the camera while singing her song in a forest setting makes the interaction feel like one between two friends sharing their deepest vulnerabilities, with intense eye contact and emotional support.

What follows is another hit from the album titled, “Rockland,” in which she begins to view the past year of her life introspectively. Abrams stays on the topic of her breakup, mentioning sitting outside of her ex-boyfriend’s house in her car, wondering who replaced her in his life.

“It’s an admission of fallibleness that cracks open the door to Abrams’ inner world, Rhian Daly from NME wrote.

This desperate, and seemingly self-depreciative approach to lost love is relatable to Gen Z specifically, a target audience that Abrams feels safe connecting to. She asks herself in the song,

“Who laughs at everything you’ve said?” She then answers her own question saying, “I’m sure I would like her if I were slightly nicer.” These conversations taking place within herself are unapologetic, inspiring listeners in similar mindsets to embrace the pain, surrender to the longing until it is merely innocent nostalgia.

Abrams herself referred to this collection of songs as fragments of different times over my mental health recovery, admitting that she was rediscovering herself while writing these songs, which made them feel incohesive until the final result. However, this sensitive quality gives the album the same charm that got it recognized by Taylor Swift, who said that she would need “5-7 business days to recover” from the project.

This beautifully put-together glance at Abram’s heartbreak and self-love journey will continue to fuel her journey to success as a songwriter.