When Gracie Abrams was in third grade, her instructor assigned the category to maintain a journal. Not for anybody to learn; simply to assist the scholars write persistently. Abrams wrote in hers assiduously — till at some point, she misplaced it. It was gone, poof.
She performed drums on the time, so she sat down at her drum equipment and wrote a music about shedding her journal: her first music. “It was aggressive,” she stated not too long ago. “It was the sensation of expression in its purest type—like, I’d by no means need anybody to see this, however I felt higher by some means.”
That’s to say that the specificity and diaristic intimacy with which Abrams, 22, writes songs just isn’t new—however now, anybody can learn what she’s written. In the course of the pandemic she and her music received actually, wildly well-known. Her first EP, “Minor,” got here out in July 2020; she launched her second one, “This Is What It Feels Like,” in November 2021. In between, her Instagram follower rely almost doubled, and he or she went from taking part in Zoom exhibits (since dwell performances weren’t actually a factor throughout that first pandemic summer time) to taking part in her first-ever in-person present in September, in Santa Ana, California. And beginning this April, she’ll be supporting the primary leg of Olivia Rodrigo’s “Bitter” tour. (They’re shut pals; Rodrigo has credited “Minor” with serving to to encourage her music “Drivers License.”)
Till then, Abrams is in the course of a six-week-long headlining tour of her personal, which began in February and included two sold-out stops in New York and in Los Angeles. All through, she’s been sporting items borrowed from Hedi Slimane’s Celine: a “dream swimsuit” one evening; a cropped sweater set with wool trousers the following; block-heel loafers. It feels “like I’ve a fairy godmother,” she stated. After we spoke over video chat, she was within the SoHo house that she and her brother, a graphic designer, not too long ago moved into collectively. “He’s so proficient it’s insane,” she stated, choosing one of many vinyl album covers he designed from a credenza to indicate me. “I actually need to work with him at some point.”
Abrams grew up in Los Angeles, in a Hollywood household—her dad is the director J.J. Abrams; he and her mother run the manufacturing firm Dangerous Robotic—and commenced posting music fragments and covers on Instagram as a young person. The years she spent cultivating an viewers on-line helped produce an intense Gracie fandom. (An instance: A stranger as soon as sent her one single cent on Venmo with the request that she launch a brand new music. Her followers additionally embrace Phoebe Bridgers and Taylor Swift.) Earlier than her dwell exhibits now, she usually hosts an off-the-cuff efficiency she calls sound checks—however they’re extra like solo acoustic performances-slash-hangouts. “The best way she treats her followers, weirdly, is the way in which she is as a buddy,” stated the songwriter Sarah Aarons, who met Abrams in 2019 and helped write songs on each EPs. “There’s no social media model of Gracie. I believe that’s why her music sounds real. I believe that’s why her followers really feel a real connection.”
She attended Barnard Faculty for a yr, however took depart after her freshman yr and returned to L.A. to pursue music. That was 2019. The next yr, the world shut down. “The isolation undoubtedly pressured some form of self-confrontation that was an excessive amount of for me at first,” Abrams stated. “All the pieces was below a microscope the entire sudden, and there have been fewer locations to flee to.” Once I requested her what she wanted to confront these feelings, she appeared to the aspect of her laptop’s digicam. All of the isolation, she defined, made her take a better take a look at “lots of stuff from years earlier than.” All of the alone time and compelled introspection meant these issues had been tougher to only sweep below the rug. She re-entered remedy on the finish of 2020, which helped her course of the occasions of her previous. “I had sufficient of a grasp on myself as an individual to advocate for myself,” she stated. “I really feel like that’s a quite common factor that lots of people expertise rising up—lots of younger ladies particularly.”
For a couple of yr and a half, she wasn’t writing very a lot. However final summer time, Abrams went to Camden, Maine, the place her mother’s aspect of the household is from—and there, she began to really feel the writing come free. She drove to upstate New York to work with Aaron Dessner, the producer and member of The Nationwide, at his Lengthy Pond studio. She described the songs they made—and proceed to make; Abrams has began writing for her debut album—as a form of “time capsule,” she stated. “I’m writing about stuff that’s so, like a diary that can be for everyone to see. Rising up is bizarre.”
As she immortalizes the previous in her songs, she stated she’s additionally opening herself as much as the brand new alternatives her profession has introduced her with: to journey and play music in greater rooms in entrance of extra individuals. “So long as they may have me, I might be writing,” she stated. “And in the event that they, at some point, won’t have me, I might be writing.”