What a fun way to say hello — by saying “Good riddance.” But just as Gracie Abrams says goodbye to certain things in her life on the album of that name, she also introduces herself to the public. While the now 24-year-old singer-songwriter has released EPs on Interscope dating back to 2021 and singles through 2019, “Good Laughs” marks her first full-length album and the first release where she’s really found herself. Own voice, with help from producer/co-writer Aaron Desner.
So (with apologies to Joan Didion and the poet Robert Graves): All hail! Variety „Good Laughs” has been named one of the best albums of 2023 — debuts or otherwise — and the Recording Academy apparently agrees that Abrams is a discovery. He is also among the eligible artists for Best New Artist at the 66th Annual Grammy Awards on February 5, 2024.
„It’s a huge honor to even be considered for this nomination,” he says, checking in on the phone from Dessner’s Long Bond studio, where they’re working on his next album. „It means a lot to me and I think I’ll always try to wrap my head around it. I’ve watched the Grammys every year of my life and I’m a fan of everyone in the category and I’m happy to be there to cheer everyone on. Bed at home every year. All of last year. To have the opportunity to participate in a celebration of jobs that I think has done a lot to position us as people… I’m so happy to be cheering on all my heroes and peers.
So how cutthroat There is Best new artist competition of the year, really? Very bloodthirsty and merciless she and one of her fellow nominees in the category released a song together. Noah Kahan asked him to jump into a duet on a new version of „Everywhere, Everything.” He was the first to sing the praises of Abram; We think we know who he’s voting for.
At the announcement of the nominees, Kahan says, “They read her name, and I was so happy for her — I didn’t know if they were going to read mine yet, but I was like, 'Let’s go, Gracie!’ She was the first person I called—oh no, that’s not true, I called my mom, but I called Gracie right away. She and I have been friends for the past year and we don’t have much in common with anyone’s story, but I feel like we’re both touring hard and raising our profile, and I really appreciated the way she connected with her. Feeling welcoming to the fan base and the people who support him, that’s something I try to do in my life. I’m a huge fan of his songwriting, and his collaborations with Aaron Tessner are always stunning. So to have the opportunity to work with her after getting to know her as a friend was great. she Really special.”
For his part, Abrams also sings Kahan’s praises. „We actually met at one of (Taylor Swift’s) Eras shows and I was immediately struck by how kind and honest she was. There was something so incredible, positively disarming about talking to her that immediately made me realize why her music feels so passionate. I’m so grateful to be on that song with her.” .
But enough of the Grammy contender love fest. Kahan is creating another mutual admiration society — one between Abrams and Swift, who brought the younger singer-songwriter along for the most important part of her Eras tour. It will continue through 2024, with Abrams slated for all North American dates, which could finally wrap up the nearly two-year stadium tour next fall.
„Good Laughter” was a pretty quiet album…closer in nature to the more subdued stuff Tessner did with Swift on „Folklore” and „Evermore” than the superstar’s bangers. But if anyone was expecting a quiet response to the Abrams’ presence on the cruise, they’d have another idea. Regardless of which volume the songs were originally compiled into, it didn’t have much to do with how loudly certain key lines were sung by fans at Eras shows or at his own headlining shows.
She is especially happy about the response to two tunes. „I’m glad my audience liked 'Full Machine,’ because I loved writing that song. The bridge screams ridiculously loud, and that’s always fun for me — I have this back-and-forth screaming match with my audience. Even though it’s such an intimate song, it’s shocking. And they put real emphasis on a few lines in 'I Knew It Won’t Work’: ’I’m your ghost now / There’s a ghost in your house.’I have to assume the next day it’s rough (for screamers) with some vocal cord damage. Don’t listen to 'Good Laughs’ and think it’s going to be a death-metal scream. But gosh, I participate in screaming during the quieter moments of Taylor’s songs, so I actively participate in that capacity.
For Abrams, 24, it’s been a process of discovering how quiet she can be, emerging with a slightly larger-than-life star quality. He capped it off with „Ridance,” produced by Aaron Desner, who, in addition to his productions for Swift and Ed Sheeran, is known for his quarter-century tenure at National. After they got their feet wet with a few songs on her previous EP, which featured a mix of producers, they teamed up full-time for the full album, and Desner took her to a rural New York studio where the setting was quiet. A whisper really speaks volumes. The collection of songs they came up with established Abrams as a true lifer.
The breakthrough album „felt really deeply representative of my brain,” he says, „versus a lot of the music I’d made before 'Good Laughs.’ Before this experience, Abrams admits, „I was struggling a little bit personally, trying to find my voice and my perspective as a writer. It was something that completely changed my life—not just in terms of the music I made, but when I met Aaron.”
If the album wasn’t intentionally and micro-targeted at Top 40 radio — almost silently, at times — Abrams says, Interscope didn’t stop it. „I don’t feel like my label was in my grill. They want to invest in artists they believe in, and for me, at least, take the time to find what they think is the right thing to release. In the process of making this album, I got to know myself better. Now I’m excited about the next collection, How there is a throughline with 'Good Laughs’, but it feels very different.
Yes, full album #2 is being produced as we speak at Long Pond, which he says is „terrifying” for the finish line. As for how it departs from „Ridance,” he’s hesitant to categorize a musical style, but calls the Eras Tour „the best experience of my life.” It became part of my weekly routine for four months straight, and it bled into every avenue of my life, not just how happy I felt internally, but the songs we were making. He notes that the new tunes are more personal, but more playful — and „1 million percent more deeply affected by seeing what the effect was” on the wildly receptive audiences he encountered on the road.
„Writing 'Good Laughs’ was a lot of working through emotions in real time, where a lot of questions were being asked,” Abrams says. Not that she made all the answers at the time, but „this music feels like bold statements in real time. Everything feels differently charged, and that makes me incredibly excited about the live show, because I think we can have more fun on stage with this new energy.”
So a note to anyone attending the final six weeks of his Eras tour late next year, which will see Abrams open all dates with a setlist presumably updated with material from a scream-worthy new album: start gilding those vocal chords now.
„Totalny pionier w sieci. Specjalista od piwa niezależny. Ewangelista popkultury. Miłośnik muzyki. Nieprzepraszający przedsiębiorca”.