As you all may know, we here at The Honey Pop are big fans of Gracie Abrams, so a chance to learn more about her, her music, and the creation of her album, Good Riddance, is something we refuse to miss. Gracie Abrams sat down with the interviewer of all interviewers, Zane Lowe, to talk about all things Aaron Dessner, Long Pond Studios, songwriting, and so much more.
Gracie Abrams‘ album, Good Riddance, was released back on February 24, 2023, and it exceeded all expectations. Debuting at #4 on the UK official charts, this was a banger of an album. Gracie guides us through personal situations from the downfall of a relationship, meeting someone new who is everything she wanted, to leaving your childhood home. There is a song and a story within this album for everyone, and we believe that’s why this entire album will be taking over everyone’s 2023 wrapped.
Writing and working with Aaron Dessner
If you haven’t heard of Aaron Dessner, a part of the band The National, we can assure you you’ve heard at least one song or album that he’s been a part of; Folklore and Evermore by Taylor Swift (and a multitude of her discography), ‘October Passed Me By’ by Girl in Red, and ‘Skinny Love’ by Bon Iver, and so… much… more.
Dessner has been involved in some of the most emotional and heart-wrenching music created this decade which means, of course, he had to be involved in Good Riddance.
I think it very much highlights the dynamic that I share with Aaron [Dessner], which was so obviously, it was the foundation of the space that he creates for the people he works with, I think very much allowed me to go deeper and very almost often mindlessly, which is a weird thing to do when you’re writing about such intentional things … everything that he adds and his instincts are so specific and unique to I think to his empathy. He’s one of my best friends, which is so crazy now. But it’s true. And knows everything, like truly Aaron and my therapist, they know me better than I do, I think, almost. And we write so easily together.
Gracie Abrams on Aaron Dessner for Zane Lowe
Aaron is consistently praised for his ability to encourage artists to reach deep into their emotions and creates a space where they feel comfortable to do so, which is exactly what a producer, writer, and collaborator should be able to do. The best music is made in spaces where artists feel free of judgment and can bare even the rawest versions of themselves, Aaron is evidence of this, he’s a part of such emotionally honest music, which just gives the world an insight into who he is as a person and as a creative.
Vulnerability within songwriting
This album has been penned, not only by us, as an incredibly raw, honest, and vulnerable 12 tracks, and whilst on the listener’s end, this may be an incredible thing to experience, it must be extremely daunting and scary for a writer to bare their soul to the world. Many artists call writing and creating music a type of therapy, and Gracie does the same.
I felt like this was definitely the most cathartic, actively therapeutic process I had ever experienced. And then you let go of a lot while writing and I don’t know, it’s nice to move on … I think I was hyper aware more so now than ever before how little I know about everything and there’s a kind of calm in that. Or it’s just assumptions about things that, or judgements. And there was a rigidity that was exhausting, actually. And so to be more open to change. I think, honestly, touring and getting used to being out of control in many ways helped shift my perspective and things. But I think lots of time and writing and reading other people’s work broadens your vocabulary and your imagination, I guess. So I definitely don’t think I would’ve made this album before I did.
Gracie Abrams on her songwriting for Zane Lowe
We’re incredibly grateful that Gracie trusts the world enough to have this insight into her mind because we know how much her music means to those who listen.
Long Pond Studios
Any singer-songwriter fan is going to be well-knowledged on the lore of Long Pond Studios – with stars like Taylor Swift gracing its walls, á la Folklore: The Long Pond Sessions. Dessner’s personal studio in Hudson Valley, New York, is a cabin completely secluded from city life. Gracie took to Long Pond to record Good Riddance, and you can almost feel that calmness within the album.
You let go of a lot while writing and I don’t know, it’s nice to move on, I think. And I think I’ve learned so much from being in that environment. Everyone is so thoughtful and there’s a kind of compassion and patience that I think is more, I have found to be more rare in general, like in city environment, it’s harder to find when everything is moving a million miles a second. It’s just to be in such a, I don’t know. Yeah. It’s kind of like the expansive nature I think influences everything. The people and the music.
Gracie Abrams on Long Pond Studios for Zane Lowe
To learn even more about Gracie and Good Riddance, check out the interview here!
Catch Gracie’s newest music video for ‘I know it won’t work’ below, and be sure to stream Good Riddance here!
To see Gracie on tour this year – click here to grab tickets to a date near you!