Gracie Abrams spoke to NME backstage at Lollapalooza 2022 and told us her songwriting process, what it’s like to work with The National‘s Aaron Dessner, and the potential name of an unreleased track she just performed live. Watch our interview above.
Hours before taking on the festival’s Discord stage Saturday (July 30), one of her first performances since going on tour with Olivia Rodrigo, Abrams told us Chicago was one of her “favourite cities to play in.”
“Having been here a couple of times on tour, they’re just the greatest people,” Abrams said. The singer has been writing songs since she was just eight years-old and released her debut, EP ‘Minor’ in 2020, followed by a second EP, last year’s ‘This Is What It Feels Like.’
“I’m fascinated by human behaviour,” she told NME when asked about what inspires her songwriting. “I hyperfocus on details that may feel very irrelevant to other people, and rightfully so, but I’m just like a psychotic journaler.”
Abrams added: “I love being able to look back at certain times in my life through music. It’s like this funny documentation process I sometimes regret but mostly appreciate.”
The singer who has recently been on tour with Phoebe Bridgers and is currently working with Dessner, also told us what she looks for when it comes to collaborating with other artists.
Abrams said: “I’ve so admired Phoebe and Aaron, since I was 10 years-old. To be in close proximity to them, anytime ever is the greatest blessing of my life. To be able to learn from masters at their craft and it’s deeply inspiring.”
She continued: “Aaron is who I’ve been working with the most the past year. What I appreciate so much about him is that he really leans into creating a world with the projects we’re working on right now. I have gotten super lost in those worlds, and I love what that feels like. Anytime I get close to that feeling, it’s worth spending some time there for sure.”
Before heading to the stage, Abrams told us the songs she’s having the most fun performing at the moment, including a new unnamed track she decided to perform live over Lollapalooza weekend.
“Last night we played a new song that’s not out yet. We had never played it before,” she said. “To have that, selfishly, was a nice experience and made me really hyped on the album that’s coming out later.”
When asked about the name of the unreleased track, Abrams said, “it doesn’t even have a title yet.” “I think I’m going to call it ‘Difficult’, that might change,” she added.
The singer is currently selling merch with all proceeds going towards the National Network of Abortion Funds. “It’s necessary,” Abrams said of using her platform to raise funds for abortion access.
“I think what we can all do regardless of the size of our platform is really lift the voices of the experts the doctors, the attorneys, the activists who have been on the front lines working to secure our right to have control over our own bodies,” she continued. “The misinformation is one of the scariest parts right now, so I think anything I can do to lift those voices is necessary, and we’re all capable of that.”
Check back here on NME.com for more coverage from Lollapalooza 2022.