Gracie Abrams’ The Secret of Us Encapsulates The Feeling of Falling in Love in Your Twenties

Gracie Abrams’ sophomore album, The Secret of Us, comes just over a year after her debut Good Riddance was released in June 2023. More extroverted and energetic than her past releases, The Secret of Us takes listeners through the different phases of getting to know a person of romantic interest. In an interview with Triple J, Abrams shares that the joy she experienced making this album is what she hopes her audience feels while listening to it. These 13 tracks take us on a rollercoaster of emotions that come with falling in love in your twenties.

The album welcomes us softly with Felt Good About You, a slow burn about looking back at a relationship and realizing things you weren’t able to see at the time. Repetitive lyrics “felt good about you ‘til I didn’t” paint a picture of regret before the track picks up in its latter half to a more upbeat tone. Following this, the album’s second track is debut single, Risk. The song’s lyrics and accompanying music video depict Abrams becoming really excited about the idea of someone, drinking wine alone in her room and following him around town. With its catchy melody, this song tells an intense story of having a crush and realizing you’re in a lot deeper than you thought you were, and the overall ridiculousness of the situation.

Third track, Blowing Smoke, takes a bitter turn, delivering jealous undertones with a soft acoustic melody. Listeners are presented with the feeling of resentment towards a past lover after being hurt by them, with lyrics such as “I’ll say what they won’t, I know everything they don’t”. Next, I Love You, I’m Sorry delivers a sound reminiscent of Taylor Swift’s Folklore, with Abrams going back and forth between love and regret with a former lover.

One of the more sought after songs on the album is a collaboration track with Taylor Swift titled us. Abrams reveals that she and Swift wrote this song over a night of dinner and drinks together, after exploring each other’s music. Abrams joining Swift on the Eras Tour on several dates has definitely affected her career, and this single solidifies the two stars’ friendship and how well their music styles blend together. Listeners get a taste of Abrams’ and Swift’s powerful vocals backed by visceral emotion on this track, ending on a vulnerable question, “do you miss us?”.

Closing the first half of the album, Let It Happen opens with soft laughter followed by Abrams’ angelic whisper-singing. Gentle guitar accompanies her vocals as she allows herself to be vulnerable without knowing where it will lead. The song shifts gears as we move to the end and Abrams belts out lyrics such as “Here’s to hoping you’re worth all my time”. Next, Tough Love picks up the pace with some hard-hitting realizations from Abrams. Singing “No chance I waste my twenties on random men”, we get an eye-opening look back on her romantic life and how she now knows to value her friendships more.

I Knew It, I Know You delivers a more raw version of Abrams voice with a hint of desperation behind her words. Paired with the following track Gave You I Gave You I, listeners are given a story of heartbreak and wondering where she went wrong. The song’s bridge asks questions such as “When did you slip through my fingers, did I ever have you?”, letting listeners hear a cry for help from the singer. 

The tail end of this album slows down and listeners receive more of Abrams angelic whisper with songs Normal Thing and Free Now. These two tracks have a sense of sleepiness and follow similar themes of longing and love. In between these, Good Luck Charlie is written as a letter to a past lover of Abrams’ best friend Audrey, burning with the line “you know that it’s her or nothin’”. 

After a run of lower energy and more melancholic tunes, the album takes a turnaround with its final track. The Secret of Us closes with its second single, Close To You, which is a highly-requested fan favourite. Almost seven years after teasing this song with a 20-second clip on Instagram, the song faced a resurgence of popularity on TikTok in the last few months. Close To You was not originally a part of this album, however Abrams heard fans’ wishes “loud and clear”, and added it in. This track follows a similar theme as Risk, telling a story of unrequited love, however with more obsessive and powerful undertones, emphasizing that Abrams would do anything to be in the presence of this person she’s crushing on.

This album overall takes us through the chaos of a young woman falling in and out of love. We get raw emotion from Abrams, ranging from excitement and daydreaming to despair and loneliness. All tying together with a bizarre but somewhat magical flow, this is arguably the most confident work we’ve heard from the singer so far. 

Abrams’ musical career has largely involved her writing solo, however The Secret of Us was a collaborative effort between her and her roommate/best friend. These songs are wistful yet bitter and show us another side of Gracie Abrams’ personality, getting more intimate than ever. She states that she “wants the audience to have something to really scream to”, and this album has delivered, sitting in a beautiful middle-ground between radio pop and sad indie.

Listen to The Secret of Us 👇🏼

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