Review: Conan Gray’s “Superache”

Conan Gray’s new album “Superache” is out now!

Conan Gray’s long awaited sophomore studio album Superache is finally here, and it’s a massive leap in the right direction. The 23-year-old singer who started out on YouTube has shown an incredible bit of growth with this project- maturing as a songwriter and showing a vast improvement in his vocal ability as well. While I’ve always had respect for Gray and his pen, the production on previous projects sometimes left me wanting more and this album finally feels like his lyrics are met with their harmonious equals. Now let’s break it down!

Superache is a tale of love and heartbreak- telling stories of unrequited love, childhood trauma, and the impact they can have on one’s life. It’s heartbreaking and dramatic as hell, leaving you in its wake as Conan opens up about the experiences that have nearly broken him.

On opening track “Movies” he fantasizes about the kinds of love seen on screen, wishing him and his partner could have an unbreakable bond instead of feeling merely what they lack. No relationship is ever perfect, and yet we all search for that idealized love we grow up watching in films. Perhaps it’s a bit unrealistic but it teaches you what you truly deserve- which Conan recognizes when comparing his relationship to the ones he’s grown up watching. “In my head, we never grow apart, in my head, you never break my heart, but we know that’s not what we’re doing, ’cause baby, this ain’t like the movies,” he sings on the chorus and sets the tone for what’s to come with the rest of the album.

Movies” by Conan Gray

Another album standout is the newest single “Disaster” which is one of the very few up-tempo tracks on this project. The track represents the panic that ensues when contemplating over what will happen if you confess your feelings for someone. Conan captures the spiraling panic perfectly with collaborator Julia Michaels as well, imagining the worst-case scenario if he confesses his love for his crush. “There’s so many factors, like what if you freak out, and then we’re losin’ it all at the critical chapter, where I say ‘I love you’ and you don’t say it after? This could be a disaster,” he sings on the chorus of the all too relatable track. It’s a moment we’ve all found ourselves in at one point or another and despite the frustration this describes, the production is bouncy and pure pop perfection.

“Disaster” by Conan Gray

“Family Line” is by far, the album’s most personal and heartbreaking track- detailing Gray’s childhood and relationship between his parents. Conan describes the feeling of growing up within this trauma and how it has molded him into who he is today, recognizing the parts of his parents that he sees within himself and how he has tried to unlearn the toxic patterns. “All of my past, I tried to erase it, but now I see, would I even change it? Might share a face and share a last name but we are not the same,” the bridge brings to light a sense of catharsis within Conan. It’s poignant and the production is absolute perfection- I dare anyone to listen to it without getting full body chills.

“Family Line” by Conan Gray

It would be impossible to review this album and not talk about “Astronomy” which came out over a year ago and still feels just as fresh as the first listen. To put it simply, it’s one of those songs that haunts you to your core and leaves you coming back for more pain every single time. The production builds so beautifully by the time it reaches the bridge as Conan sings about the fear of losing his friendship with his best friend and not having this bond someday. “You can’t force the stars to align when they’ve already died,” he recognizes how it would be perfect if all of the conditions would be ideal to revive their relationship but it’s not something they have any control over when there’s nothing keeping them together.

“Astronomy” by Conan Gray

Much of the beauty and pain of Superache relies on the fact that nothing lasts forever- whether it’s the love between 2 people, the ache from a relationship ending, or the trauma taught to us at a young age. There’s a poignant beauty to every feeling and experience, an opportunity to learn and grow from it all. And while life can hurt you and bring you to your lowest point, it’s that ache that reminds you you’re alive.

Superache is out now on all streaming platforms!

Fresh Brewed Playlist #12

Carol Ades’ new single “26” is out now!

Carol Ades’ long awaited new single “26” is a beautifully crafted anthem for anyone feeling lost in life. From the moment I heard the first snippets on her TikTok, I knew this song was somehow made exactly for me. The ways in which Ades describes that in-between state of your mid-twenties where the transition from childhood to adulthood truly hits is universally relatable. “Oh, I’m freaking out, trying not to turn this car right around, cos there ain’t a feeling I’m not tryna fix, I’m not a grown-up but I’m not a kid, it hurts every time I’m reminded, I’m not dying, I’m just 26,” she sings on the chorus. The production choices are simply gorgeous as the track continues to build into the second chorus’ crescendo, but it’s the simplicity of the outro that make it unforgettable. Carol Ades has already had an accomplished career as a songwriter but it’s about time she gets the credit she deserves- she’s an absolute star.

“26” by Carol Ades

“Ruby Sparks” is another standout release by a rising artist named Monét Ngo who proves himself to be a force to be reckoned with on this track (which is only the second song he’s ever released btw). According to his Instagram, the song came to him in a dream- and the mysteriously seductive production captures that dream like haze quite perfectly. While listening, I was reminded so beautifully of little hints of Joji, Ryan Beatty and even the one and only Frank Ocean- and yet Ngo is very much his own artist. The song was already pretty much perfect and then the final minute began- with the switch up in production slowing down the beat and adding a reverb to his vocals that truly skyrocketed it to perfection. It’s been a long time since I’ve found a brand-new artist that made me desperate for whatever is next- and Monét Ngo should know I’ll be waiting desperately.

“Ruby Sparks”- Directed by Natasha Abdul

Oceanic’s new single “Walt” is yet another incredible release from the Indie pop band who have gained quite a lot of success over the last few years. Like all of their songs, “Walt” is beautifully written and gives the listeners the opportunity to think on what it means to be in love. Named after Walt Disney, the song examines the ideas we have of love based upon the shows and movies we grow up watching and how they mess up our own view of the love we experience in our lives. “My love right now is missing some perfection, if the silver screens are true,” they sing on the pre-chorus, questioning their own experiences based upon the expectations fed to us. It’s not something that is always made obvious to us, but there are things that we are made to feel that we are required to say and do, which can make romance feel a bit more calculated than it really should be. It’s what Oceanic always do best, they get you bopping first and before you know it, you’re in deep thought- which is truly what I love about them. “Walt” is the latest single from their upcoming album No, Human and you can check out my interview with the band from back in May here!

“Walt” by Oceanic

Check out the rest of the songs featured on Fresh Brewed #12 below!

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