Conan Gray’s time is here, and ‘Yours‘ is the jigsaw piece in his creatively strong and emotionally transformative series of singles, from ‘Astronomy’ to ‘People Watching.’ I’ve followed Conan Gray from the days of ‘The Other Side‘ and ‘Generation Why,‘ to his debut album ‘Kid Krow.’ He is a post-adolescent hero on the fringes of the mainstream pop community (linked to Olivia Rodrigo and Taylor Swift) but with enough freedom to retain his own unique voice.
‘Yours‘ is an emotionally sophisticated, but essentially quite soporific elegant ballad about not belonging to someone. In ‘Yours‘ he sings “I’m not yours… but your still mine… I want more.” Conan Gray has long created astonishing portraits of longing despite not being wanted. He told GQ in a recent interview about the feeling of getting heartbroken without the process of ever actually dating. Love without dating, the crush culture, the internet, getting drunk, and making out at parties are all key ingredients of Conan’s songs.
Yet, from the South Carolina days to the era ensuing the release of ‘Kid Krow,’ his songs have continued to demonstrate a continued and evolving grace, to be transformed by love’s journey despite the tragic backstories of crushes gone wrong. Songs like ‘Maniac,’ ‘Crush Culture‘ and ‘Wish You Were Sober‘ tell stories of love and drunkenness, love and the internet. His songs aren’t just neat narrative bows that play to the millennial zeitgeist, but ballads and genre experiments, a kind of deep searching for the story he hasn’t yet told.
Yet it is the balladlike heart soaring qualities, the sad piano playing, and deeply confessional lyrics suffused with anthemic choruses, that align the 23-year-old with the likes of Lana Del Rey and Adele, and which create exceeding levels of promise for his upcoming work.