gracie abrams interview
Photography by Abby Waisler

Gracie Abrams Is In Her Sophomore Era

'FASHION' sat down with the singer-songwriter to chat about her new album, working with Taylor Swift and *that* Met Gala dress.

Gracie Abrams is jealous of me and I’m not sure how to react.

I’ve just met the 24-year-old singer songwriter backstage at Universal Music Canada’s Toronto office and venue, The Academy. In less than an hour, Abrams and I will be sitting onstage, doing a live Q&A before she previews her new album The Secret of Us, which drops on June 21. But before we chat about her music, all Abrams wants to talk about is Bridgerton.

“Man, that’s so rad!” she exclaims, as I tell her I got access to season three a few weeks early. “I want to watch it now!” [This interview happened in May, before the release.] That’s the thing about Abrams: She’s disarmingly normal. She greets me in a tank top and baggy jeans, glowing in a clean girl no-makeup makeup look and is quick to smile, and even quicker to laugh. We talk about our shared love of Kanthony (IYKYK), and watching TV for work, and honestly, it’s hard to believe Abrams isn’t just another fun twenty-something friend when in fact, she’s poised to be the next big thing in music.

Affectionately known as the “princess of bedroom pop,” Abrams is kind of a big deal right now. Her debut album Good Riddance sent shockwaves through the music industry with its unapologetic vulnerability and heartbreakingly soft vocals. Her second album, The Secret of Us, is one of the most anticipated of the season and promises to capture the urgency of spilling your heart out to your closest friend. She was nominated at the Grammys for Best New Artist. And when she’s not making fans sing, cry and feel all the feels, she’s touring around the world and has opened for artists like Olivia Rodrigo and Taylor Swift.

In November 2024, she’s returning to Toronto as the opening act on Swift’s The Eras Tour but until then, Gracie Abrams chatted with FASHION in this interview about her sophomore songs, working with Swift and wearing Chanel to the Met Gala.

 

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Congratulations on the new album, The Secret of Us! Are you more nervous or excited to finally release it into the world?

“I’m so excited! The process of making this album was so fun! I wrote most of it with my best friend, Audrey Hobert, who’s also my roommate. Most of it was written with this urgency of catching up as quickly as possible between breaks from [opening for Taylor’s Swift’s] The Eras Tour. We had such a good time so I hope that people feel that when it’s all out.”

How has working with producer Aaron Dessner (a frequent collaborator of Swift’s) impacted your writing process?

“Well, he’s the best! He creates space for the people that he works with to speak for themselves. He always encourages me to trust my first instinct, which is so fun because a lot of times the first thing that I come up with is the weirdest thing. I think making The Secret of Us gave us this cool permission to be like, ‘let’s just try whatever we want and see how it lands.’ But the writing process for this album was primarily between myself and Audrey. We were starting most of these songs at home on our couch, and then we would take them to Aaron and he would run with it. It was great!”

@tehegracietehePracticing for tour♬ Close To You – Gracie Abrams

You’re known for being a lyric-driven and very vulnerable artist. Is it hard being that vulnerable with someone during the writing process?

“That couldn’t have been easier. Because Audrey and I know each other so well, we would keep each other honest. So if one of us had a mega crush and tried to downplay it, it’s like, well, you can’t, because we were up until 4:00 a.m. the night before talking about how obsessed you are with him. But honestly, it was a kind of fluke that we started writing it. We weren’t like, ‘let’s write music’. We just started playing.”

Do you have any lyrics from this new album that you’re particularly proud of?

“There’s a verse of this one song that goes: ‘And I’ll have a drink wistfully, lean out the window and watch the sunset on the lake. I might not feel real, but it’s OK.’ Most of the time when Audrey and I wrote together, whatever lyrics made us laugh the hardest in the moment is what made it into the songs. It felt like a very visual process and I love that lyric.”

 

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Can you tease anything about your upcoming collab with Taylor Swift?

“No — it’s a secret. But, I am obsessed with the song!”

You’re opening for Taylor Swift when she comes to Toronto in November. You’ve previously opened for her in 2023. Did being on The Eras Tour influence this new album at all?

“Absolutely! I mean, I really felt like I was at college, studying the way that Taylor does what she does. To see her up close and how thrilled everyone is to be there is so inspiring. That energy alone totally influenced my imagination and broadened my horizons for what I aspire to do.

I was really excited knowing in the back of my mind while we were on this tour, that there were more dates this year. I was like, ‘I want to make something that feels more worthy of this space.’ I want to make music that I could picture anyone who knows who I am or who’s at the stadium feeling moved. And I also wanted to make music that was worthy of the lung capacities of my fans, because they sing louder than me every day on tour!”

What most of your fans love about your music is that it feels really intimate. How do you maintain that feeling while playing to 80,000 people at The Eras Tour?

“The thing with opening for an artist is that it’s never about you, which is actually really lovely — truly! It’s really epic to be there as a fan. But I’m trying to learn from Taylor how she’s able to make the stadium feel. At one point in the show you’re on Mars, and at another, the only two people in the room are you and her. It’s a crazy gift that she has that I could only ever hope to try to learn.”

Photography by Getty Images, courtesy of Chanel

I also have to ask, since it was only a few weeks ago: How was your first Met Gala? Is it as crazy as it seems?

“No, it’s not as crazy as it seems. You’re kind of seeing a wax museum of famous people wearing the most beautiful gowns in the world. That part is really trippy. The whole thing is a bizarre environment I’m not used to.”

You wore Chanel, of course. Walk us through the inspiration behind your look and the real question: How comfortable was it, really?

“It was super comfortable! I really love the people that I have gotten to know there — they’re really rad. And I loved what I wore. I felt grateful that I could breathe, it was functional, I could move, it was great! And Chanel was really encouraging about finding elements that felt like me. The skirt felt really special having those tiny little micro bows. It just felt like this culmination of the past couple years.”

How do you feel about bows now?

“After I cut my hair off, I don’t know how to make it work for me anymore. But I also love it on everyone, so whatever you feel good in is what you should wear.”

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