A young artist manages to hit stardom with a sound that is all time low meets Billie Eilish meets Jason Mraz. He may not be new to a lot of people because he grew up on YouTube making videos since he was 12 years old. Conan Grey originally from Georgetown, Texas now lives in California and goes to college at UCLA as a film studies major. The 22 year old has quite a few accomplishments for being so young and so new to the music scene Kid Krow is his first album flowing his EP Sunset Season. He has already opened for Panic! At the Disco on some of their tour dates which is not surprising once you listen to his voice. Especially in the first song on the album “Comfort Crowd” his vocals are soft and make your brain so happy to hear the angelic harmonies. This song in particular is on the same wavelength as “Ocean Eyes” by Billie Eilish with the blending voices. Believe it or not, Eilish and Grey were friends when they were younger which explains their style similarities. This song like the rest of the album is shouting in a whisper about togetherness and how we are not alone. His persona conveys relatability and vulnerability. He is very comfortable talking about crying even as a man which is bold but also amazing that we live in a modern world where it doesn’t feel weird to sing about. He most likely got this attitude from growing up online. Back to the album, it is geared towards a younger crowd and if you’re just listening to a few songs to start, definitely listen to “Maniac” and “Fight or Flight.” All the songs are worth listening too but these two are the best.
“Fight or Flight” is fabulous with its intro fake out making you think it’s gonna be a low key song until the chorus kicks in, this song definitely reminding me of All Time Low. The power of his words combining with the added edge of a guitar with reverb makes it feel like getting punched in the gut with reality. He has a way of bringing you into a song and into his life. He uses simple words to say what people feel but don’t know how to say. “I’d rather die than have to cry in front of you, I’d rather lie than tell you in love with you”, He talks about being hurt but instead of being mad like society makes you believe is a correct response; he talks about how it hurts because love doesn’t just go away after you’re hurt. “Maniac” keeps the same vibe of elegance in heartache but is slightly less emotional. It’s a really energetic song with beats and rhythm that catch your attention. He does something intriguing and unique in the pre chorus where he talks the lyrics fast but it works and adds momentum to the song making the chorus stand out even more. Even with the somber tone he has in most of the songs the album still has the essence of optimism. Especially in “Little League” which is a huge burst of freedom in an otherwise safe album talking about the good old days. The optimism sprouts up from the build ups, stops and starts in the music. His music is just so him. A lot of music nowadays makes you wonder if they even feel what they are singing about but Grey IS his music. He tells wmagazine, “nobody gave a flying fuck that I was making songs. Nobody cared, and I did it because I loved it. I was very bored and I was living in Texas and I had a really rough childhood, so I had a lot to say” His heart wrenching words are the definition of honesty and fans can tell.
All his songs are made very well and the vocals go from beautifully haunting to almost perfect vocal tone and power. On the other hand, His lyrics talk about subjects that are overdone and you can tell when he doesn’t care about what he is singing about. “Affluenza” is about rich kids and the high and lows of money but every artist has a song about this. It is different then his songs about love because in those he is all in and it feels important to him. “I wish you were sober” being a very well composed and catchy song is pretty much the same story as “Here” by Alessia Cara. It feels very been here done that.
Grey in his songs talks about loving girls and boys but chooses to keep his sexuality to himself which is completely respectable. When asked questions about it he can be seen winking at fans but isn’t vocal about it. The songs about him loving a boy are even more delicately made. Including “Heather” and “The Story”, both songs are slower and more intimate. He gives everyone a feeling of togetherness and comfort with his music which is a hard thing to do and powerful. He is leading the charge in new pop music and changing what is acceptable to say. New artists can look at his openness and be more willing to be vulnerable and share their stories through music. His music is perfect if you feel lost or hurt and are trying to find a way back to yourself. All in all, this is one of the better albums to come out recently in pop music and I would recommend it to anyone who has loved and lost. Is it better to have never loved at all? It’s up to you but Grey can help you find your way.