2021’s Rising Bedroom Pop Star: Gracie Abrams


Photo Courtesy of ABC

Lovers of Lana Del Rey and Silver Sphere may find themselves captivated by a 21-year-old rising indie-pop star, Gracie Abrams, this upcoming year. With only two singles released in 2019 and eight songs released in 2020, this melancholy singer-songwriter has slowly developed a following of 3.6 million monthly listeners on Spotify. Despite Abrams’s gradual rise in popularity, she has gained endless praise from the LA Times, ABC, Bustle, and other entertainment outlets. As some report, Abrams resembles Billie Eilish’s dreamy tone and Phoebe Bridgers’s wistful style. While Abrams’s parents are well-known to Hollywood movie sets, Gracie Abrams’s candid social media presence and nostalgic tunes will surely launch her into 2021 as an Indie Popstar. 

Gracie Abrams followed a different yet equally creative path as her father, J.J. Abrams. Known for his directorial role in films such as Star Wars: Rise of the Skywalker and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, J.J. Abrams quickly thrust Gracie into the Hollywood scene. Her mother, Katie McGrath, a television producer and co-founder of the Hollywood Time’s Up movement, introduced Gracie to musicians like Joni Mitchell and Elliot Smith from a young age and encouraged Gracie to pursue her musical passions. Despite her parents’ influential role, Gracie Abrams appears disconnected from the Los Angeles life of influencers, fashion, and film. With an Instagram flooded with posts of baked goods and casual selfies, Gracie Abrams presents herself as a spontaneous teenager and an authentic singer-songwriter. In between photos of lyric ideas on a sketchpad, Abrams informally posts photos encouraging her younger followers to vote, recognize the reality of climate change, and remember the names that sparked the Black Lives Matter protests from summer 2020. Nonetheless, Abrams primarily shares her music through video clips. Whether it’s a cover of a Beatles song or one of her own releases, Abrams undeniably displays a deep love for music and social issues with an abundance of fans to support her.

Seen as Clairo or Lorde’s rising little sister, Gracie Abrams has a familiar songwriting style, focusing on the difficulties of first love and the loneliness of adolescence. One of her most popular releases, “21,” combines sweet piano and powerful harmonies. Her lines “just because you’re hurting doesn’t mean I’m not” and “sometimes I go blurry-eyed” seem a bit cliché for a bedroom pop song, but are justified by her developing style. What is most extraordinary about Gracie Abrams is her personalized, hushed vocals. Her voice appears angelic, rather than breathy or dramatic as she shifts from low to high tempos. As Sarah Aarons, a popular songwriter known for her work with Halsey, eloquently shared with the LA Times, “She has that kind of voice that feels like your best friend is talking to you.” While Abrams’s songwriting style is a bit overused, the soothing flow of Abram’s inflection will likely transform her into a headlining pop music luminary. 

Anyone familiar with Conan Gray or Zella Day should anticipate a few new favorite songs from Abrams within the next year. While the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented Abrams from standing under a stage spotlight, she, as well as many musicians, has flourished creatively under the lockdown’s circumstances. With her education at Barnard College in New York currently put on hold, Gracie Abrams will likely be found diving into a songwriting notebook, watching anime, or eating her favorite Annie’s white cheddar mac and cheese. Only 2021 will tell if her fans will receive ethereal music leaving them hungry for more.