On March 21, up and coming singer and former lifestyle YouTuber Conan Gray released his debut album “Kid Krow,” a followup to his 2018 debut EP “Sunset Season.” While “Sunset Season” was a warm, fluffy ode to Conan’s Texas roots, high school friends and memories, “Kid Krow” shows a darker side of Conan, showing all of the happy and sad aspects of his life.
“Kid Krow” takes inspiration from artists such as Lorde, Lana Del Ray, and Taylor Swift using similar sad and darker yet optimistic views on relationships and their melding of synths, drum machines, and acoustic guitars.
So now, let’s hop into the songs themselves. This album has so many great songs, but the standouts are the ones where Gray steps forward and shows signs of maturity. “Comfort Crowd,” a song he previously wrote that was retooled into a single, is about feeling like you have a safe space amongst your friends. It is a great song and sounds even better than the original. Also, there’s “Checkmate,” the first released single of the “Kid Krow” album era. It’s a fun rock song about being tired of being manipulated in a relationship.
“Wish You Were Sober”, a track about being in an unstable relationship really feels like a song off of Taylor Swift’s album “Reputation,” but with a Conan Gray spin on it, showing off his versatility between different genres such as Indie Pop and Rock and his relatable lyrics.
“The Story” is a song about people he knew when he was in high school and how there weren’t always happy endings for them. The song looks at themes such as social acceptance, being in the closet, and having your friends by your side every step of the way through this crazy world. One of the lyrics explains this theme the best: “And I’m afraid that’s just the way the world works. But I think that it could work for you and me. Just wait and see. It’s not the end of the story.” This song is definitely one of the more somber tracks on the album, but it is still beautiful.
Other standout tracks on “Kid Krow” include “Fight or Flight,” a rock song with booming drums and guitars about not wanting to admit your feelings and then being too late, “Online Love,” a simple 38-second guitar track that serves as an interlude and “Affluenza,” a track about society’s love of money and material objects and how money can’t buy you happiness or love.
With Kid Krow,” Conan Gray has created a consistent collection of songs with relatable lyrics, acoustic and electric instruments, and his authentic sound and personality. At 21, Gray has grown from a small art YouTuber into a full-fledged musician. The singer is definitely here to stay.