“Superache” tells stories of hurt and sorrow

Gray will appear at Austin City Limits on Oct. 8 and 14, and in San Antonio on Oct. 12 and 13.

Courtesy of Amazon

Gray will appear at Austin City Limits on Oct. 8 and 14, and in San Antonio on Oct. 12 and 13.

The highly anticipated Sophomore Album, “Superache”, by Conan Gray, was released at midnight on the June 24. Conan Gray is a singer/songwriter known for his raw lyrics and slow, melodious music, as well as his angelic voice. Though Gray wrote over 250 songs, scraping his ribs for the perfect lyrics, only 12 songs made the final cut for the album. “Superache” is a mix of Alternative/Indie and Pop and is 40 minutes 22 seconds long.

Gray describes “Superache” to be an album about “something that hurts you so much, it lingers with you for years”, and he did a wonderful job of recounting all the sorrowful events that happened since his last album. The combination of all the different instruments as well as his heavenly voice make his music sound truly impeccable.

Originally from Georgetown, Texas, many of Gray’s songs were inspired by events from his teenage years as well as what happened in his troubled childhood. In 2018, Gray signed with Republic Records when he released his EP Sunset Season. He gained massive popularity when two of his songs from his debut “Kid Krow”, “Heather” and “Maniac”, became popular on TikTok in 2020. “Superache” peaked at number nine on the Billboard 200, and, as of today, has over 500,000,000 streams on Spotify. Gray gained over 7,500,000 streams within the first 24 hours of the album’s release, and he has around 20,000,000 monthly listeners on Spotify.

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Gray starts off the album with a heartbreaking ballad called “Movies”, which tells the story of how Gray wants “a love like the movies” but the person who he is in love with is unable to grant his wish, as they do not feel the same way. He recognizes that real love is not how it is portrayed in the films, since life is very different from movies. “Movies” is the perfect way to start the album because it really sets the scene for how the rest of the album will be: heart-wrenching but influential.

People Watching
“People Watching” is the second song of the album that was released as a single. In this song, Gray recounts how he had “never been in love, not seriously” and when he sees couples, he wants to ”feel all that love and emotion” that surrounds being in love. Even though Gray writes the most touching songs about love, he has admitted to being single his whole life. Gray’s trust, intimacy, and commitment issues lead him to “cut people out like tags on [his] clothing”. He remembers his days feeling “so monotone”. “People Watching” is the single people anthem, meaning it’s targeted towards people who have never experienced romantic love. Along with two other songs on “Superache”, “People Watching” was co-written with Julia Michaels.

Unlike most songs on the album, “Disaster” is a song that will make you want to dance to and sing in the car with the windows down. The beat is happy and pumpy, unlike most of Gray’s songs. Even though it seems that the song is superficial, it gets really deep when you think about it. This song is for the overthinkers. Gray sings “this could be a disaster” to describe the uncertainty of his love life. He says “there’s so many factors” because he is unsure of everything that is going on romantically in his life.

Best Friend

“Best Friend” is the only happy song on Superache. Gray recognizes his best friend, Ashley, and thanks her for always being there for him. Their bond is incredible and their platonic relationship makes you realize that friendships must be treasured. “Everybody knows I love you so, so, so, so much” emphasizes how thankful Gray is for the golden friendship he has been blessed with.

The first single off of “Superache” was ”Astronomy”. It’s a beautiful metaphor comparing outer space to Gray’s fear of a parting relationship. In interviews, he previously talked about how important his friends are to him. “You said distance brings fondness but guess not with us” portrays how deep his fear reaches. He wishes that he never gets to the point of not knowing “a stranger that [he] once knew”, and will do just about anything to prevent that from happening. The comparison of outer space to relationships is beautiful, and when Gray sings his lyrics, the song will make you want to cry.

Yours (E)
“Yours” was the last song (5th) single. It starts off with Gray singing, “I’m somebody you call when you’re alone”. In the chorus, he says, “I’m not yours” and “I want more”, which is simple yet beautiful. His unique voice and the piano makes the song sound more painful, and the message of the song is not missed. The bridge is different from the verse, pre-chorus, and chorus. The song unexpectedly ends after the bridge, which is definitely strange, but leaves astonishment after listening.

Jigsaw (E)
Though it starts off slow, “Jigsaw” progresses into a song with a loud electric guitar that you can scream your heart out with. “Jigsaw” is definitely one of Gray’s personal songs; originally, he had not considered sharing it. Jigsaw is about changing for someone else until you no longer recognize yourself. The “Jigsaw! Jigsaw! Jigsaw! Jigsaw!” in the second verse and “Why don’t you love me?” in the bridge leaves the listener feeling almost as much pain as Gray felt when he experienced this and wrote about it.

Family Line
“Family Line” is the first song in which Gray specifically talks about his abusive childhood and the trauma he has endured. Gray felt the need to inform others that these kinds of horrific acts are more common than we think, and felt compelled to tell his story. This song is definitely one of his most emotional songs. Though Gray is vulnerable in most of his songs, this one stepped into an area of unknown territory. With lyrics like “How could you hurt a little kid?” and “Someone who loves you wouldn’t do this”, it leaves fans heartbroken for everything Gray had to endure when he was younger.

Summer Child
Gray begins the song giving characteristics of the person known as the “Summer Child”. In the ballad, Gray tells the Summer Child that it is ok to cry when you experience unpleasant things. He takes advantage of this opportunity to tell his listeners that “you don’t have to act like all you feel is mild”. Everyone has emotions and you do not have to be strong all the time. On social media, many people have described themselves to be very similar to the person Gray was writing about in Summer Child.

A footnote is the part at the bottom of the page that is written in very small ink because it is insignificant to the overall story. That is what Gray was trying to convey when he wrote “Footnote”- insignificant in his love interest’s life. He accepts the little bit of love that he will receive in return when he says “please don’t forget me” and “a footnote will do”. The word choices in the song were thorough. There was a book reference (Pride and Prejudice), and Gray compares his life to the novels. This adds more character to the song since a footnote is in a book.


“Memories” was released a few days after the announcement of “Superache”. It has catchy but heartbreaking lyrics. The song rapidly gained popularity on TikTok. Gray says he wants to get over someone, saying, “I wish that you would stay in my memories”, but when they constantly come crawling back, it makes the task impossible. Unlike every other song on the album, Gray described “Memories” to be fun to write. There’s some humor to this song too, like when Gray sings, ”and it makes me feel like dying I was barely just surviving”. The beat drops are on point and they add meaning to the song.

The Exit
The last song on the album called “The Exit” has been recognized to be the fan favorite, and it’s easy to see why. Gray tells the story of how the person he loves has already moved on while he’s “still standing at the exit” because he is not ready to leave everything he thought they had. You can hear the pain in Gray’s voice when he sings the verse, “I can’t hate you for getting everything we wanted. I just thought that I would be a part of it”. The vocals and overlapping of both the chorus and pre-chorus at the end concludes the album perfectly.

Overall, I fell in love with “Superache” since I first heard it the morning it came out. I love how Gray writes songs for every emotion and topic there is, even if they are unpleasant. Some of his central themes include jealousy, sadness, anger, happiness, nostalgia, and a longing to have something that never existed. One of my favorite things about his music is how calm it is but can portray the rawest and most powerful feelings. Both Gray’s songwriting and vocal skills have tremendously improved since “Kid Krow”. He has immensely grown in his journey as a songwriter, and his music will continue gaining popularity as it has been since he was first recognized as the talented musical genius that he is.

Gray takes everything negative and turns it into a masterpiece of relatable emotion. He has a mysterious way of annulling the pain when you hear his songs; the heartbreaking lyrics and soft music make you feel less alone and more understood.