The secret’s out… Gracie’s sophomore album The Secret of Us was released June 21st.

Hinting that this project was  “more extroverted” than her past discography, The Secret of Us revives the pensive introspection of Good Riddance while also casting the net wider to see these plays captured vibrantly in new social dynamics. It’s a lyrical playground set upon the production of Aaron Dessner, with Gracie confessing to Elle that:

“The energy of the music that I’ve been making this year has felt like when you run home to tell your best friend every detail of your night. There’s almost a satirical, dramatic element to the music this time around—not that I wasn’t obscenely, obscenely dramatic in the past, but I was laughing while writing these songs. I hope that energy is felt when they belong to everyone else.”

This album proves once more that Gracie has a talent for capturing the painstaking truths of human relationships through profound simplicity. She is able to transform the most complex feelings of heartbreak and romantic turmoil, into the truest and clearest of universal truths – her artistry is the eye of the needle to endless emotional threads. Essentially, if you needed someone to ghost write your diary or recite the voice memos you send to your friends, The Secret of Us spills it all.



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The opening track ‘Felt Good About You’ sets the tone, introducing listeners to The Secret of Us with Gracie’s innate and trademark self-awareness of disaster that invites you in prospectively to all her ‘sure-fire train wreck’’s while they are shiny and new. From the ‘crossed lines, past lives, clear vision’ to the ‘ bad nights, new girls, misgivings’ – ‘Felt Good About You’ toes the tightrope of romantic highs, with the surging adrenaline of new beginnings one moment and hard, dramatic falls to the ground the next.

Lead single ‘Risk’ then delves deeper into first sparks of what might end in flames, circling back to the precipice of obsession and providing validation how utterly and ridiculously unbearable it is to crush on someone. Gracie embraces delusion with lines like ‘watch this be the wrong thing, classic’ and ‘I wish I was kidding, I’m not and I hate it’. Her vocal delivery and vocal projection expertly escalates the self-deprecating and relatable proclamations. This track spotlights the magic of this entire album – a collection of honest jabs that are easy to take on the chin and celebrate because of how real they are.



‘Blowing Smoke’ and ‘I Love You, I’m Sorry’ revisit the acoustics and thematics of Gracie’s past projects, owning accountability in ways reminiscent of Good Riddance’s ‘Best’ in the midst of battling acceptance, holding a clear mirror to Minor’s ‘I Miss You, I’m Sorry’.

‘Blowing Smoke’ prizes bitter admiration over the honeymoon phase, owning a superiority in the imperfect stages of knowing someone. Here, intimacy and arms-length co-exist ironically and truthfully using the imagery of Rapunzel’s tower as perspective on a past relationship. Gracie is spouting honest confessions while simultaneously having her guard way up. This tension comes to a sonic head during the outro, with fresh and visceral backing vocals that play on Gracie’s staple vocal layering with shouts echoing the harmonies. If ‘Blowing Smoke’ is Gracie yelling out the tower balcony, ‘I Love You, I’m Sorry’ is the conversation in the mirror once she retreats back inside. It reflects on the diversion of romantic paths and the peace one has to make with it (‘that’s just the way life goes / I push my luck it shows’), processing tragedy with a sense of humour (‘I tend to laugh whenever I’m sad, I stare at the crash it actually works’).

 ‘Us.’ featuring Taylor Swift is the crown jewel collaboration of the album – an insane lyrical tapestry that weaves through the pair’s shared musical biographies. The production is twinkling, tortured and folklorian with striking imagery of ghosts, false prophets, flames, and ashes. Gracie and Taylor’s harmonies are heaven-sent, this track is a truly special centrepiece to the album’s narrative. This number delivers The Secret of Us’  titular line that ponders the sting of regret but ultimately seeks an answer to a curiosity that forever persists in the wake of it all: ‘do you miss us?’



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‘Let it Happen’ escalates Gracie’s mastery of imagery to another level with lyrics like ‘I had a backbone made of glass, and then it broke’, exploring a pained resignation to the power someone else can have over you. The song’s title calls back to the bridge of Good Riddance’s ‘I Know It Won’t Work’, and there is a palpable vocal desperation in these choruses that competes with the sorrowful exploration of losing yourself throughout the verses. The bridge showcases the best of Gracie’s atmospheric creations, with masterclass instrumentals, gasping breaths, and dramatic juxtaposition.

Pivoting once more from the depths of the emotional trenches, Gracie gifts us with an ode to the ones that pull us out every time. ‘Tough Love’ is a love letter to friendship, and follows the likeness of Billie’s ‘Birds of a Feather’ – a cultural decentering of romantic relationships as the epitome of love (‘No chance I’ll waste my 20s on random men, not one of them is cooler than all my friends’). It’s a refreshing reprieve in the middle of the album that serves not to invalidate the introspection and consideration of past loves, but put them into perspective. The fast-paced soundscape sets the scene, infused with the omnipresent head-spins and whiplashes of dating culture, complete with a lyrical dropping of the veil in the bridge: (‘I’m not gonna miss his sh*tty friends and nights of their binge drinking / And I’m not gonna miss his old inflated-ego shallow thinking’). ‘Tough Love’ is a whipping off and shattering of rose-tinted glasses in the best and most danceable way.

‘I knew it, I know you’ is an empathetic yet unapologetic confessional that takes back the reins from ‘Let it Happen’ (‘I haven’t thought of you in ages / I’ve lived a lot, I’ve loved and lost, I’ve let the rain in’). There’s a shift in acceptance here that relegates the sentiment more to ‘I know it, I knew you’ by the end of the track – something born from a peace and perspective that only grows with time. This song strikes raw at the heart of the pendulum swing on the rollercoaster of separation with Gracie’s best penmanship: ‘All I ever did was consider you, ‘Til all I could do was consider me’.

‘Gave you I Gave you I’ epitomises the broken record of an empty cup. Synthed chords fuse with guitar to soundtrack the self-aware cyclical reflection – a mix of embarrassment, hurt, curiosity, an the ultimate need to create your own closure (‘And I won’t lie and claim confused when I know just what happened / You got bored, and I felt used, now I’m all sad about it’).



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‘Normal Thing’ shines the stage lights on the showmanship of romantic facade, using performance as a metaphor for false hopes, projections, and the fast-tiring routine of the dating game. ‘Normal Thing’ toys with the idea of an innate need to be truly seen as something held captive by highlights reels and film trailers (‘I practiced speeches in private, I was impressed with my every line / I think we call that performing /That’s not how I want to spend my life’)

‘Good Luck Charlie’ honours the fall of the curtain heralded in the previous track, stripping back the production to reveal raw home truths. In direct address to her best friend and collaborator Audrey’s past love Charlie, this song is a pointed reminder of what’s been lost, delivered with an endearing knowing and soft rolling acoustics to cushion the realities that are hard to swallow. In doing so, this track is equally a love letter to Audrey, epitomising The Secret of Us’  dual weighting of romantic relationships with true friendship.

‘Free Now’ is an incredibly assured end of the road for The Secret of Us. A mature culmination of all of the album’s emotional threads, this track is an outpouring of pained – yet blameless – understanding. Gracie’s acceptance in letting go is built on a vital infusion of hope, with swelling instrumentation and vulnerable confessions revealing it as the only way to make peace with having to set something real free.

The Secret of Us is capped with an ode to the listeners with the the long-anticipated release of fan-favourite track ‘Close to You’. This upbeat finale is a breath of fresh air; an afterparty to the triumphs and heartbreaks faced before, and a pregame to all those yet to come.

It celebrates everything this album is: an endearingly self-deprecating coming of age soundtrack that has you curled up in a ball and staring at the ceiling one minute, and dancing around your room the next. With impeccably produced instrumentation and a storytelling ability matched only by the greats, Gracie unveils something truly magic with the intimacy and extroversion of The Secret of Us.