Addison Grace: Things That Are Bad For Me - EP Review
Emotionally direct anthems make for one of the best EPs of the year.
The genre of “bedroom pop” covers a whole host of musical delights. I’ve seen the term applied to artists of all sizes and sounds, from Billie Eilish and Beabadoobee to Clairo and Conan Gray. As disparate as these artists may seem, a common trait that most of them share is unflinching lyrical honesty. Whether it’s the unflinching brutality of Happier Than Ever or the joyous whimsy of Horen Sarrison, if there’s one thing that unites artists in the genre, it’s the intimacy communicated to listeners. The genre’s name may have been coined to reflect its DIY origins, but it might as well be a reflection of how close you can feel listening to it, feeling so close to an artist through their lyrics, that you might as well be literally sitting in their bedroom. Things That Are Bad For Me is no exception in this vein.
Addison Grace is no stranger to intimacy through his music - their single I Wanna Be A Boy felt like a diary entry turned into song. It's no surprise he's already resonated with so many, whether it's through his millions of TikTok subscribers, or through the virality of early tracks like Overthink. With his debut EP Immaturing, he captured the relatable feelings of being a young queer person figuring things out, both personally and artistically. This EP shows the fruits of his journey toward self-acceptance. It’s a thrilling listen that proves them to be one of the most exciting singer-songwriters in the scene.
Grace has a gift for turning intense emotions into pop magic. Take the opening track, Pretty Girl, which confronts the tragic feelings of crumbling personal connections, dysphoria, and the closet, through an anthemic track with a phenomenal hook. Being nonbinary, it often feels like I’m expected to present or act in ways which I’m not, and Pretty Girl feels immediately relatable for me in that sense.
Across its five excellent tracks, the EP proves a phenomenal portfolio of Grace’s songwriting talents. From the lush harmonies of Valerie to the infectious chorus and persistent chords of Out Of Touch, every song here is going to be someone’s favourite. For me, that honour goes to the grunge banger that is Everybody Seems To Love You. It’s Grace’s most straight-up rock song yet, its heaviness complementing the fast-paced lyricism, perfectly describing that feeling of when you want to be with someone AND be them. It’s topped off with a riff that would make Kurt Cobain proud, and a delectable chorus melody that’s going to sound incredible screamed back at live shows. When the song shifts tempo and key half-way through, it’s a thrilling trick that works perfectly.
The EP concludes with the achingly beautiful If Nobody Likes U, which rounds things off perfectly. It’s the pseudo-title track of the record, and serves as its thesis statement, a comforting anthem that feels like musical comfort food. It’s a gorgeously tender moment that feels like Grace’s answer to a song like touring mate Cavetown’s Hug All Ur Friends; another beautiful song about shared intimacy and resilience. “If nobody likes me, you still do,” Grace sings. How anyone could not like this EP is beyond me - and if nobody likes it, I still do.
Highlight tracks: Everybody Seems To Love You, Pretty Girl
Key lyric: You need a different version of me to hold on to.
AC is the Head of Written Content at QSO Media. Read more of their articles here.
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