Musician Follows in Pop Icon’s Footsteps

As pop icon Taylor Swift makes her way across the world on her anticipated Eras Tour, singer-songwriter Gracie Abrams, an up-and-coming pop artist, is set to open 30 of the sold-out shows. The 23-year-old artist from Los Angeles attended Barnard College before pausing to pursue a music career. Abrams released her debut album, Good Riddance this February on Interscope Records.  

Abrams co-wrote Good Riddance with producer Aaron Dessner. The 12-song album peaked at number 52 on the U.S. Billboard 200. 

Good Riddance will be a welcome familiar sound to fans of Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo or Conan Gray. The heartfelt energy of the album will appeal to pop fans. 

It is easy to hear Taylor Swift’s post country music era influence on both Abrams’ songwriting and singing. Working with Dessner only increases the musical similarities, as Dessner frequently collaborates with Swift. Abrams’ lyrics follow a similar poetry and structure, and Abrams tells a story with her music, detailing overarching themes of heartbreak and regret.  

This is demonstrated in the album’s sixth track, titled “Amelie.” In it, Abrams tells the story of a girl who left an impact on her, despite not being in her life anymore. The repeated lyrics, “So, where did you go Amelie, Amelie, Amelie?” imparts Abrams’ feelings of grief, all while painting a picture of the person she is singing about. The classic acoustic guitar adds a sound of mourning to the piece, giving it further depth. The sentimental line is also catchy and bound to stay in the listener’s head. 

Songs like “I know it won’t work,” would be right at home on the soundtrack of a teen television series. Good Riddance has an appealing sound that is also relatable to its younger audiences and leaves listeners with an emotional connection to the album. 

At times, the album can lean into the world of modern pop formula too heavily, and some songs come off as being rather generic. Songs like “Best” also fall victim to sounding repetitive and a bit lackluster.  

Overall, Good Riddance is a strong debut album that will definitely find its audience.