Conan Gray. The perfect mix between Lorde and Troye Sivan. Gray is a social media sensation with an 80s vibe targeting more of a bedroom pop feel while incorporating bits of slower-paced pop. As a vlogger he said he dreamed of making music and releasing albums some day. Well that dream soon became a reality and I have been along for the whole journey.
I waited months for Kid Krow. With the early release of “The Story,” he talked about his struggle with suicide and living in the closet as an LGBTQ+ youth along with the struggles of abuse. Gray frequently talks about the struggles many adolescent homosexuals have, including in his song “Heather”. “Heather” is an acoustic guitar-driven song about a boy in love with another boy, who’s in love with the aforementioned Heather.
His hit “Maniac” is about an on-again-off-again obsessive relationship where he uses airy vocals and acoustic guitars to amplify the meaning of the song. Gray also created the song “Checkmate,” which is about a post-breakup. The song really vacillates between slower verses with fewer instruments to an upbeat rock chorus with lively percussion and electric guitars.
My favorite song is definitely “Wish You Were Sober,” with his AutoTuned vocals dealing with the mistakes of his teenage years and how the 21 year old artist has grown since then.
Gray’s mood tends to be filled with melancholy, but he doesn’t shy away from his happier moments like in his song “Little League.” In it, Gray wishes to go back to the simpler days, questioning why things could go back to how they were when he played in Little League. He sings over light instrumentation about the joy of childhood and the lack of ability to appreciate all of those things as they were happening.
I expected a lot of great things from Gray when I heard about this new album, and gratefully, this did not fall short at all.