Photo Credit to Gracie Abrams
Article by Kayla Bride
Last week, 20-year-old pop singer-songwriter Gracie Abrams dropped her first ever project, a 7 track EP titled ‘minor,’ but the path she’s taken to get there hasn’t exactly been conventional. For over four years, the L.A. native has tantalized her growing number of Instagram followers with clips of original songs performed in her bedroom. Abrams, who cites Joni Mitchell and Phoebe Bridgers as major influences, is typically only accompanied by an acoustic guitar or piano in the videos. Her breathy vocals, poignant lyrics, and intimate performances have attracted a dedicated fan base, which was overjoyed when Abrams finally released her first official song, ‘Mean It,’ this past October.
After unveiling 4 other singles and amassing over 2.5 million monthly listeners on Spotify, Abrams released her debut EP under license to Interscope Records. The highly anticipated release was meant to occur a month earlier, but Abrams delayed the launch out of respect for the movement against police brutality and racial injustice, which was then at its height. Abrams has consistently shown her support for social justice movements on social media, which isn’t surprising given her lineage; her mother, Katie McGrath, is a co-founder of Hollywood’s Time’s Up initiative against sexual harassment in the workplace and her father is renowned filmmaker J.J. Abrams (Lost, Super 8, Star Wars). Her parents’ production company Bad Robot and The Katie McGrath and J.J. Abrams Family Foundation recently pledged $10 million to organizations with anti-racist agendas.
Abrams shared with her 320K Instagram followers, “minor is out everywhere now and i have nothing to say besides thank you.” When asked what listeners could expect from the EP, Abrams told Pigeons & Planes, “There are some surprises with production. All of the songs were written on either acoustic guitar or piano, so the core of the songs aren’t going to feel shocking at all. But I think that the production elements give it a body and a bit of variety that I haven’t been able to even portray on my guitar in this room. On Instagram, people can’t hear all the weird sounds that we’re throwing in there.” The production, which Abrams’ boyfriend Blake Slatkin played a significant role in, certainly gives new life and depth to Abrams’ vocals.
Despite writing songs since the age of 8, Abrams has shockingly never performed a live, in-person show. She was making preparations for a string of small venue shows in support of the EP when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the live music industry to shut down for the foreseeable future. Although disappointed, Abrams has taken the disruption caused by the coronavirus in stride. In April, she shared a lyric video for her single ‘I miss you, I’m sorry,’ which she filmed and edited in her room using Photo Booth and iMovie. This month, Abrams will be performing a series of virtual concerts called “the minor bedroom shows.” Fans living in L.A., N.Y.C., London, Chicago, Berlin, and Sydney can sign up for a chance to attend the “virtual tour.” 100 fans from each city will be randomly selected and will receive an invite to their location’s scheduled show.
Be sure to check out ‘minor’ wherever you stream music.