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TRACK BY TRACK: Gracie Abrams's 'The Secret of Us'

Written by Noelle Henderson. Published: July 11 2024


Gracie Abrams has released her sophomore album, The Secret of Us, which might be the most unique break-up album to be released this year. Gracie’s soft vocals allow for a vulnerable and raw storytelling ability throughout the record. Each song makes you reflect on old relationships, budding ones, and crushes. Abrams has an incredible ability to make you feel deeply while listening to her music. With each song providing something new, let’s break it down track-by-track!


1. "Felt Good About You"

The album opens with this song reflecting on a past relationship Gracie had. She had higher expectations for this person, and they disappointed her. She perfectly captures the thought process someone goes through after the end of a relationship while reflecting on it all. This song introduces us to the album's general theme, where she explores feelings of love and loss in a relationship. We get a glimpse into Abrams’s mind as she navigates a break-up.


Favorite Lyrics: “Got me where you want me, in your palm, it's almost funny...”




2. "Risk"

"Risk" is a lead single for a reason. The catchy lyrics and unique production make you want to put the song on repeat. "Risk" explores having feelings for someone you don’t know well and finding yourself romanticizing a relationship with someone you know nothing about. She describes this feeling as wanting to take a “risk” on someone she thinks she knows. She realizes that jumping into a relationship with this person she has a certain idea of could end badly, but she is so desperate to feel their love that she’s willing to take the risk. 


Favorite Lyrics: “Too soon to tell you I love you / You're the risk, I'm gonna take it...”




3. "Blowing Smoke"

This track is a classic break-up song. Gracie’s ex in the song left her for another girl, specifically one that she might have known. With lines like “if she’s got a pulse, she meets your standards now,” her anger in this song is incredibly relatable. She did not initiate this breakup, making her feel like she didn’t “measure up”. While thinking about this person, she begins to call them out for things they did that were ingenuine. Regardless of whether or not she means it in the song, this reaction after losing a relationship is incredibly human.


Favorite Lyrics: “If she’s got a pulse, she meets your standards now...”




4. "I Love You, I’m Sorry"

Referencing one of her most famous songs, "I Miss You, I'm Sorry" from her first EP, minor, "I Love You, I’m Sorry" is the best sequel to a song. This track is most like her older music, the rhythm feeling almost like a waltz; you can’t help but reminisce on a past relationship that you loved. Following the album's theme, the song is not necessarily a confession of love for someone you can’t have but one for someone you shouldn’t have. Whether or not she had a relationship with this person, she knows they shouldn’t be dating. Sometimes, that feeling can hurt more than something more unrequited.


Favorite Lyrics: “Joyriding down our road / Lay on the horn to prove that it haunts me / (I'm wrong again, wrong again) / I love you, I'm sorry...” 




5. "us." (feat. Taylor Swift)

Gracie and Taylor Swift’s vocals blend so beautifully for this song. As she asks, “Do you miss us?”, the song gives the feeling of confronting a past lover with the hopes that they still love you and want to rekindle the relationship. She misses this relationship and fears that this person regrets it. Throughout the 4-minute song, she refers to this relationship as a secret. More specifically, it was a relationship with someone older who she didn’t feel comfortable dating, as she confirmed this person was 29.


Favorite Lyrics: “I know you know / It felt like somethin' old / It felt like somethin' holy, like souls bleedin'...”




6. "Let it Happen"

Similar to "Risk", "Let it Happen" follows Gracie as she navigates starting a new relationship. Describing this intense crush, she feels deeply for this person and all that could grow from their relationship. This song feels like overthinking, acting as a sister song to "Risk". Gracie worries about allowing a relationship to go far when it could go poorly. However, she feels as though this person is right for her.


Favorite Lyrics: “I've never craved someone's attention / As much as yours, thought I should mention that...”




7. "Tough Love"

While this album seems to have romantic love as its common thread, "Tough Love" proves it is much more than that. Abrams admits she won’t miss this person in her life because of the platonic love she is surrounded with. The lyrics bring us back from the pain of heartbreak and focuses on the fact that she has her whole life ahead of her. She has no reason to spend her time sad over men she dated when they don’t bring her the same strength as her friends. "Tough Love" is a perfect love song for your best friends.


Favorite Lyrics: “No chance I waste my twenties on random men / Not one of them is tougher than all my friends...”




8. "I Knew It, I Know You"

If you ended a relationship with someone on unclear terms, this is the song you’ve needed in your playlist. Abrams did not end this relationship well enough that she felt closure. She managed not to have to come to terms with this relationship, but somehow, it came back to haunt her, either in the form of memories or from this person contacting her. She cares so deeply for this person, but she has outgrown them and the relationship she had with them. This song feels incredibly personal due to its references to nostalgia. The outro to this song feels like you’re sinking into Gracie’s words, which is why it’s one of my favorites on the album.


Favorite Lyrics: “I was your entertainment from a dark place / (Down, down, down, down) / You don't know how to step outside yourself...”




9. "Gave You I Gave You I"

Feeling like someone who gave so much of herself for this person, Gracie perfectly encapsulates what it feels like to be in a relationship with someone who didn’t love you the way you loved them. She poured herself into this person to make them feel good, but they couldn’t treat her right. In this, she begins to ask herself if the relationship she had was as authentic as she thought it was, or if she was the delusional one. 


Favorite Lyrics: “You went off running away from something / That I have nothing to do with now.”




10. "Normal Thing"

This is the type of song you want to read the lyrics while you listen to it. Gracie uses watching someone on a TV show or movie and falling in love with this fictional character in a real relationship. The complex emotions someone might feel while in a relationship, especially one that was romanticized in your head before starting to date this person. This incredible, vulnerable song confronts the not-so-pretty emotional responses we might have while in a relationship.


Favorite Lyrics: “Are you special or was this all scripted in his head?”




11. "Good Luck Charlie"

If you’re Gen-Z, you most likely thought of the Disney show of the same name when seeing this track, but it has nothing to do with the show. Gracie wrote this track with her friend Audrey, who she references in the first lyric: “You keep a picture of Audrey in your wallet.” The person Gracie references is not over Audrey; they had a relationship, but it has since ended. Gracie is almost saying goodbye to this ex for Audrey, telling them that they need to move on.


Favorite Lyrics: “You can go home at night and you might really not need her / But you feel her everywhere, she is the love of your life...”




12. "Free Now"

Abrams references a relationship she had with someone not ready for a romantic relationship, describing the feeling of loving someone who can’t love properly. Different from the other break-up songs, "Free Now" is very empathetic to this person. She had to break-up with this person before they could have a relationship because she couldn’t fully have them, and they couldn’t have her. She misses this person very dearly but feels free outside of a relationship with them.


Favorite Lyrics: “It's a shame that I memorized your outline...”




13. "Close To You"

The most anticipated song on the entire album is "Close To You". An older song Gracie wrote that blew up on TikTok, fans begged her to release it. Regardless of the well-deserved anticipation of the song, this is probably her most well-produced new song. It sounds nothing like her other music, making it stand out from the rest of the album. This song is upbeat and fun to listen to while relating to different songs. "Close To You" ties the entire record together and is the perfect Summer song.


Favorite Lyric: “And I burn for you / And you don't even know my name...”




The Secret of Us is available everywhere you get your music!