It’s been a long time coming, but singer-songwriter Gracie Abrams has finally released her first full-length album, “Good Riddance.” The 23-year-old has been quietly building a devoted fan base since the release of her debut EP in the summer of 2020, followed by a second EP the next year. On each track, Abrams worked closely with The National’s Aaron Dessner, who she first collaborated with on her previous EP, “This Is What It Feels Like.” Together, the two have created a quiet, intimate record that sees Abrams in the trenches of heartbreak. Her whispered vocals float over folksy acoustic melodies on some tracks and are punctuated by steady electrical beats on others, and while the album can feel monotonous at times, Abrams and Dessner clearly display natural musical chemistry. With “Good Riddance,” Abrams has cemented herself as one of the strongest members of the latest cycle of young singer-songwriters, with a gorgeous sense of melody and a soft yet raw sound.


Abrams’ opening track “Best” sets the vulnerable tone that flows throughout the rest of her album. The soothing instrumentals in combination with Abrams’ soft vocals give off a lullaby-esque feel to the song. The repetitive chorus of “I never was the best to you,” evokes Abrams’ raw truth that she was not the best person to be in a relationship. Abrams’ heart spills out on the song’s bridge as she reveals a level of wounded honesty and self-hate. The lyrics “and I destroyed every silver linin’ you had in your head / all of your feelings, I played with them” are a sliver into Abram’s overarching theme of self-guilt that she openly explores throughout the album.

“I know it won’t work”

“I know it won’t work” continues Abrams’ theme of vulnerability as she reflects on a badly ended relationship that she is unable to let go of. The vulnerability in this track stems from Abrams’ ability to admit she still wants someone who she shouldn’t. She can’t help but remain stuck on this individual. Abrams’ drawn-out vocals accompanied by somber instrumentals give the song an air of longing. The lyric “I know we cut all the ties, but you’re never really leavin” highlights the extent to which this individual lingers in Abrams’ mind and how a part of them will always be with her.

“Where do we go now?”

The second single off of “Good Riddance,” “Where do we go now?” offers a mixture of a delicate ballad sound along with synth-pop elements. Abrams effortlessly expresses what it feels like to be in a relationship that should have ended. As the song beautifully swells to the chorus, which reiterates the question “where do we go now?” Abrams evokes the heartbreaking desperation for the other individual to answer the state of their relationship as she knows that it is over between the two of them.

“Will you cry?”

“Will you cry?” is a fantastic, heart-wrenching track. Abrams’ lyricism, which can be understated to a fault at times, is at some of its strongest here, as she is not only honest but sharp in the way she crafts this exploration of a dying relationship. The bridge in particular is entrancing, with Abrams’ repeating the same lyrics over and, the instrumentation building in turn.


Abrams puts her insecurities on full display in this intense track. With mentions of drinking to temporarily subside her feelings of self-hatred and the constant want to go unnoticed, Abrams fearlessly admits the darkest parts of herself, which are what makes her lyricism so utterly raw and truthful. As the song heightens in sound, so does Abrams’ angst and continuous frustration with herself.

“This is what drugs are for”

“This is what the drugs are for” is one of the strongest cases of Abrams’ and Dessner’s partnership on the album. Abrams’ husky, often whispered vocals can in some moments on the album feel underwhelming, but they perfectly suit this track’s gorgeous, brisk melody and melancholic feel.

“The blue”

“The blue” is the first moment on the album that departs from the subject of broken relationships and heartbreak. Instead, Abrams is in awe of a new love that has arisen seemingly out of nowhere. It’s a simple line, but the way she delivers the lyric “what are you doing to me now?” conveys the warring fear and amazement that comes with falling in love profoundly well. Dessner’s production is also masterful, with a dreamy instrumentation that swells with the addition of strings at the song’s climax.

Overall, “Good Riddance” is a masterful debut. Abrams showcases her vulnerability in a deeply personal way that is often not seen in today’s artists. Her emotional yet truthful lyrics and the production of the album itself capture the through line of Abrams’ perspective of her fractured relationship and the turmoil alongside it. More than that, Abrams also highlights how this relationship has impacted her in all aspects of her life and eventually, how she came out on the other side.