Youtuber-turned softboi indie pop star, Conan Gray, is back and this time with his debut album, Kid Krow… Having only put out singles and eps up until this year, Kid Krow was released about six months ago and has since proven successful amongst Gen Z'ers with the help of social media. To be specific? TikTok.
Upon listening to the album in full for the first time, I found a few songs to be more memorable than others… As with many releases, there will always be a couple stragglers. But the stars of the show? "Comfort Crowd", "Maniac", and "Heather".
Essentially an album about adolescence, love, friendship, and heartbreak, it sounds like something you’d expect from Conan. It’s literally the soundtrack for an indie high school movie that wants to be just the right amount of deep for the oDdBalLs, oUtcAsTs, and miSfiTs… The kids who make art, read poetry, apply to private liberal arts colleges, and hangout with their English teachers during lunch instead of actual people their age, claiming “i’M dIfFeReNt, i jUsT dOn’t fiT iN!"
But you know what? Oddball or not, this is an album for dancing in empty parking lots late at night with your best friends. It's an album for daydreaming. And it's an album for thinking and reminiscing.
(ps- i was [and definitely still am] one of those kids who applied to private liberal arts colleges and hung out with their english teacher during lunch)
This album is easy listening yet painful understanding. Although most of the tracks in this are not super memorable, three stood out as some of my new quarantine favorites.
Conan’s “Heather” places another level of unattainability on watching the one you love with someone else on top of simply not feeling good enough. This song can resonate with practically everyone. We’ve all watched someone catch the attention of the person we wish was looking at us. It’s no wonder that this song gained so much popularity on TikTok this year; we all have someone in our lives that’s a Heather, that we’re constantly compared to. For me, that was my freshman year college roommate. This song struck a chord and a nerve, hitting a little too close to home but for that same reason making me want to listen to it over and over again.
“Maniac” is a more upbeat track but upon further listening, you realize that Conan is mourning the death of his reputation. This is about more than a relationship gone sour. It’s really about the way that you’re unable to rebuild after the relationship breaks off. Although this song isn’t universal in terms of the romantic nature of relationships, it still carries across a mutually understood feeling of being misrepresented and misunderstood. This song really elicits a deep hatred for the slander that people are prone to. That feeling of betrayal when someone doesn’t tell the truth. The begrudging anger amidst the hurt despite wanting to think the best of that person you love. The desire to defend yourself so that they can know the truth.
I think “The Story” perfectly closes off Conan’s album on a sweet and mellow note. It’s really nicely crafted with the guitar picking and Conan’s singing. The progress of the song lyrics is a little predictable but still profoundly sad even though you know what’s coming. A little repetitive in the chorus but I particularly like the storytelling style of this song. Unlike “Heather” and “Maniac”, which leaves the listener to piece together the context of the story based on personal experience, this gives us a deeper look into Conan’s personal history, what made him the way he is and why he writes such beautiful music.
If you haven't already, check out his new album! Here are our favorites off the record-
Let us know what you think of Kid Krow!