Lately, Gracie Abrams has been itching to move to New York permanently. She’s a California native, but now at 24, she’s feeling like the city matches her energy.

Like the city that never sleeps, Abrams feels like, during the past year, she too hasn’t stopped, After years of slowly building a fanbase for her unique style of soulful yearning ballads that some call “sad girl” music, her career has hit a crescendo with the frenetic energy of a wave that hasn’t yet crested thanks in part to the fact that she was selected for literally the biggest stage in the world: Taylor Swift’s Eras tour. She opened more than 30 shows for Swift across the country in 2023, an experience which she compares to a crash college course in performing, and capped off the year with a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist.

Now, Abrams is gearing up for what looks to be her biggest year yet. Her sophomore album, The Secret of Us, which is out today, has already spawned her first top 40 hit in the UK, “Close to You,” and contains “us,” a much anticipated duet with Swift.

Earlier this month, Abrams announced her first headlining tour, which spawned some Swiftian levels of excitement from fans, who raced to Ticketmaster and posted online their screenshots of dreaded hours-long waiting rooms to snag a ticket. Abrams has already added additional tour dates to keep up with demand, a scenario she says she never had imagined.

“I did not expect people to care to this degree, and I’m really grateful that they do and I really care this much as well,” she says. “So I’m just excited to all be in the same room.”

Abby Waisler

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Abby Waisler

If there’s anything a Gracie Abrams song evokes, it’s a specific feeling that is immediately recognizable to anyone that’s been a teenage girl. It’s those moments that you are so full of longing and lust and emotion and pent up frustration and maybe even rage, that you lock yourself in your childhood bedroom, lay on your bed, and just let it all out.

Abrams knows well the feeling of having, well, too many feelings to face the world. Much of her early imagery—like her lyric video for 2020’s “I Miss You, I’m Sorry”—shows her in her room, in her bed, under her covers, putting into song lyrics her desperate yearning for love, for acceptance, for the type of strength to deal with the emotions of first heartbreak and becoming an adult in the world.

It’s the way Abrams has been expressing herself since she was a child. When she was small, she would sing to herself behind her bedroom door, letting out her feelings in the privacy of her own space, turning her trials and tribulations into words and melodies.

“I was really shy about it, but my mom in particular knew that this was truly what I fell in love with as a small, small, small person,” she recalls. “And even when I would pretend that it wasn’t true, she was like, okay, yeah, well, we hear you girl!”

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