Gracie Abrams’ “Stay” is attracting considerable opening week attention Spotify. On Tuesday, it impressively crossed the 500,000-stream milestone.
The stunning new track’s Spotify count currently sits at 562,119. Prominent playlist positioning is certainly helping, but it could not independently explain the numbers. The real story here is one of resonance: Abrams’ music is connecting with early listeners.
And with good reason. To an even greater extent than previous release “Mean It,” the new track is a stunning showcase for the artist’s raw emotions, passionate (yet restrained) vocal delivery and intriguing songwriting style.
“Stay” embodies the notion (and illustrates the power) of conversational pop. Rather than filtering her emotions, crafting a fairytale narrative or chasing overly poetic lines, Abrams is simply telling it like it is. Through her specific, yet relatable observations, she is offering the listener a real-time window to her vulnerability, regret and longing. In turn, she is creating a powerful, authentic connection.
“Stay” is a song in which every moment matters. Every single line has a purpose, and every shift in Abrams’ voice communicates a feeling. Whereas some pop artists will force-feed clever (but ultimately meaningless) lines or catchy (but exceedingly generic) radio hooks under the notion that the ends justify the means, Abrams and co-writer/producer Sam de Jong are unwilling to make such sacrifices. They believe in the notion that the best music is real music. And they will not let a single note or phrase detract from the song’s sincerity.
Granted, “Stay” is a very lyrically accessible, melodically engaging and potentially radio-friendly track. With production seemingly influenced by Sufjan Stevens and soaring (yet never bombastic) memories, “Stay” is a sonically excellent song. Abrams’ gorgeous vocal performance takes the song to the next level; she has the kind of special voice that can enthrall a room even when she’s essentially whispering.
To put it simply, this is a song that can work on a mainstream level. The key is that it achieves its potential resonance for the right reasons: real emotions, unique songwriting and passionate artistry. If it does take off, it will make a real impact – because it will help listeners fall in love with Abrams rather than a faceless song.
It has already made that impact for the many who discovered it this week.