Ranking Every Gracie Abrams Song Ahead of Her Debut Album This Is What It Feels Like

Gracie Abrams announced her debut album, This Is What It Feels Like, yesterday, and it's already set to come out in less than 2 weeks. I've been a fan of Gracie's for over a year now ever since I came across a video of her singing "21" on in my YouTube recommendations. I've had plenty of time to get to know the seven tracks of her EP Minor and the handful of singles she's released, so I thought it might be fun to revisit all of those songs by getting a bit controversial and ranking the pre-album era Gracie Abrams songs. I love every single one of these tracks, so even whichever one comes in last on the list is still among my favorite songs in the all time music scheme. I gave myself an impossible task, and I'm sure that will be quickly apparent. Let me know in the comments what your top 3 is. 

Also, I talk about Gracie quite often on my YouTube channel. Most recently, I vlogged my adventure seeing her live on the I've Missed You, I'm Sorry tour at the Roxy. 

This early, early 2019 Gracie track is both severely under appreciated and a fandom favorite. It encompasses everything that makes me listen to Gracie's music on loop for hours. The understated track, haunting vocals, and effortless sense of melody perfectly blends with her detailed, gut wrenching storytelling. Over the course of three minutes, she details the implosion of a relationship and the lingering regrets that lead to wanting to piece it all back together. 

the best lyrics: could you hold me without any talking? / we could try to go back where we started / I don't even have to stay

"minor" tackles an incredibly unique premise that made the titular closing track of the EP immediately stand out to me. The song tells a frustrated story of not having the full agency to be with the love interest in the way she would like because she's still a teenager. While the lyrics vividly describe this questionable relationship she's fighting incredibly hard to make work, the chorus is quietly anthemic and speaks to an irritation that everyone on the cusp of adulthood has deeply felt and that those just on the other side of it vividly remember. I'd never encountered a song that voiced those frustrations so explicitly and effortlessly, and even outside of the context of the song, the chorus is incredibly cathartic to belt out. 

the best lyrics: M-I-N-O-R / I'm all out of luck / I'm minorly stuck

I'm sorry, your house is in Glendale or somewhere far

Gracie's discography is absolutely littered with heartbreak, but "Long Sleeves" might just take the crown among the most painful. The refrain of "I wore long sleeves" eloquently hints at the hidden scars, physical or metaphorical, from this relationship that she's attempting to escape at the end of the EP. The song feels like a quiet plea to finally let the toxic cycle be over. It's place on the track list, not at the end but right before "minor", accents that this escape might have been an unsuccessful one. The entire EP, but this song in particular, will hit especially hard if you've ever been in a relationship with an uneven power dynamic. The images here are so incredibly delicate like lace or thin glass that leave plenty of room for the heartbreak to pool in. 

the best lyrics: hate it that no one knows, you're good to everyone / all them but me

The second official release of 2019 offered soft, disparate piano and an incredibly real, witty, cutting lyric about a break-up. Gracie displays, yet again, her remarkable ability to take small moments that nearly everyone knows inside and out and reimagine them into an incredible piece of art. Whether romantically or platonically, everyone has been in a relationship that's disintegrating, and you can tell the other person's heart just isn't in it, even if they won't admit it. This song so perfectly captures that moment of realization. It also vaguely reminds me of Julia Michael's song "Shouldn't Have Said It"

the best lyrics: maybe that thing you said under your breath, you mean it

This is definitely one of Gracie's most popular tracks for good reason. It's another song where she perfectly encapsulates an entire end of a relationship and the fight to save it. The chorus paints a vivid picture of the toxicity of the relationship that neither of them want to let go of. It captures the clear indecision of this broken partnership. She makes the disfunction almost romantic in a way that isn't positive but is extremely honest. 

the best lyrics: you said "forever" and I almost bought it / I miss fighting in your old apartment / breaking dishes when you're disappointed / I still love you, I promise 

"Under / Over" is a brief track, but it packs a lyrical punch with a unique, lilting melody that sonically echoes the feeling of walking away from a shattered relationship. The lyrics will randomly pop into my head from time to time, and I'll stop to mull over them. She perfectly captures the start and stop feeling of trying to find resolution. She chooses incredibly specific images to attach to deep, raw emotions. I think everyone who's gone through a break-up has done a few of the things she lists in the song.

the best lyrics: funny when I think about the months that I could not get out of bed 

thought that I'd be good the day I took down all your pictures in my room / how'd it go from easier to everything still leading back to you

Gracie has discussed "Brush Fire" as the punctuation marker on the Minor era, and it perfectly blends Minor's understated production and expansive emotional world with delicate orchestration that offers new layers to what's possible in her sonic landscape. Also, this song became a million times more emotionally impactful when I moved to LA and found out just how rare a hard rain in LA is. 

the best lyrics: and I held on to every word / couldn't let you go and called it hope

"tehe" features brighter synths and a more optimistic feeling as Gracie unpacks the relationship in a more detached, reflective way. She realizes that the relationship was a bit doomed from the start because of how much she'd changed herself to fit within it. I love the solid realization that she wouldn't be able to change herself enough to make the relationship work and that made all the unfixable cracks more apparent. 

the best lyrics: kept bending all my rules til all of me was yours / and pushing things aside but nothing ever worked, worked  

And here we have the latest single which will also make an appearance on the upcoming album, This Is What It Feels Like. The song was also played as an unreleased track on Gracie's latest tour. This song immediately stole my heart when I heard it for the first time standing less than a foot away from Gracie at the show. Even in a loud, chaotic space, the lyrics of the track stood out. The song shows even more development in Gracie's usual genre of reflective heartbreak stories, and it brings in a new, very in-demand collaborator, Aaron Dessner. Unfortunately, the intricate finger plucking was beautiful live but too far forward in the mix for me in a way that competed with her voice on the recorded track, so that's why it's towards the end of the list. I think hearing the live version first just altered my opinion a bit. 

the best lyrics: hey, I feel like I might say the wrong thing / I hung up when I started calling / you probably would've laughed then / if you had seen it happen  

The opening track of Minor is one of the earliest Gracie tracks I really delved into. It also made me realize how unique Gracie's cadence and melody is as I struggled to teach myself to play it on piano with just the chords chart. This track has a bit more of a fun, sarcastic edge to it as Gracie takes on the awful, cliched moment where your ex wants to stay friends. She perfectly illustrates her confusion over how her ex could ever want to see her again when her heart is still breaking at every reminder of what they used to be or could've been. As I'm writing this, I'm honestly wondering why I ranked this so low, but all of Gracie's tracks are so good that it's impossible to be happy with where they all exactly land. 

the best lyrics: and I hate the way you love me / and I hate that I still care

I guess this is the part of the list where all of Gracie's "fun" songs have ended up. "21" was the first Gracie song I ever found, and I'm sure that's the case for a lot of people. I was immediately intrigued by the lyrics but also how Gracie had crafted a fully indie pop song that also makes you want to jump around with all your best friends to the chorus (and yes, doing exactly this at the show made me love it even more). Again, this track only ended up here because I clearly undervalue songs that are more upbeat, but that doesn't make this track any less incredible. 

the best lyrics: I get a little bit alone sometimes and I miss you again / I'll be the love of your life inside your head

The lead single (and sort of title track) of the debut album keeps up those fun, euphoric vibes of the last couple tracks on the list. The chorus has a delightfully smooth melody, and I love that the song centers around a moment of friendship instead of romance. I wish there was maybe a bit more lyrical detail here, but I really enjoy this lovely, indie movie worthy track.

the best lyrics: I would do whatever you wanted / we don't have the leave the apartment  

This Benny Blanco collaboration track has some true lyrical gems and a music video that is so incredibly delightful in its simplicity. This wasn't Gracie's first time working with Benny, so it was interesting to see her tapped to be a part of the next chapter of Benny's artist project. The concept of Benny being the named artist when he doesn't sing or rap or really do anything vocally on the track still confuses me, but it seems to be working for him. I love the concept of the song centering around being forced to work on yourself and address the fears and bad habits you built up in old relationships to allow new ones to thrive. It's almost universally experienced, but it's so rarely covered in songs. 

the best lyrics: cause if I'm gonna learn how to love you / I need to unlearn how to love too

Mess It Up

Speaking of cute, quarantine music videos, this one literally takes the cake. This song is sweet, and I enjoyed it quite a bit when it came out. I just don't find myself coming back to this particular single super often, and that's why it landed down here on the list. 

Reacting to Gracie On YouTube

Gracie Abrams Concert Vlog

Minor EP Reaction

Feels Like Reaction

Mess It Up Reaction

More of Gracie On the Blog

Gracie Abrams at the Roxy Concert Memory

Benny Blanco and Gracie Abrams Team Up for "Unlearn"

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