Gracie Abrams’ ‘Difficult’ Single Review

By: Kristine Pascual

Gracie Abrams released her latest single, “Difficult,” on Oct. 7. Like many of her songs, this is another sad ballad to add to her roster. In this track, which was co-written by Aaron Dessner, Abrams battles with internal struggles and touches on life difficulties. As always, the artist is honest and vulnerable.

The melody of this song is noticeably more upbeat than the lyrics paired with it. Abrams’ words are raw, poetic and filled with such pain listeners may be able to connect with. Guitar and piano beautifully juxtapose the raspiness of Abrams’ voice. Dessner and Abrams did an amazing job writing this track because it feels like a step into Abrams’ private thoughts, as if listeners have been invited to read her personal diary.

In “Difficult,” Abrams blames herself for often overthinking, singing, “It’s no one’s fault, it’s just my terrible condition.” Like many others, Abrams is a victim of self-blame. Despite knowing that her life is not completely bad, her own negativity tries to convince her otherwise. With lyrics like, “Oh, I know / Spiralin’ is miserable / I should probably go back home / Why does that feel difficult?” Abrams delves deeper into how her way of thinking makes things seem more difficult than they actually are, sometimes leading her into a downward spiral.

Abrams is about the same age as her young adult listeners. Just because she is famous doesn’t mean that she doesn’t encounter the same struggles as they do. Many young adults struggle with newfound independence and find it hard to lean on their parents. So, Abrams' lyrics about spiraling and not being able to catch a break may relate with her listeners in more ways than one.

Along with the list of struggles she faces, Abrams adds, “I meant to tell you / How I've hated how we left things when it fell through / ‘Cause you were everythin’ to me, where did you run to? / Was it somethin’ that I said that colored you blue?” In these lyrics, Abrams alludes to a former relationship where she blames herself for its downfall. The line “I meant to tell you” suggests that Abrams never actually got around to discussing issues that were present in her relationship. She feels responsible for the relationship turning sour and asks for clarity.

“Difficult” is filled with angst that listeners can feel and relate to. Abrams’ voice is beautifully raspy, satisfying to the ear. Abrams is known for her sad music, and this single did not disappoint following her release of “Block me out” earlier this year.