Gracie Abrams joined The Circle Sessions to perform some of her most iconic songs in front of a room full of fans. She kicked off her set with a stripped back version of “Difficult,” with more videos coming throughout the year.
Circle Sessions are all about showcasing fresh talent, creating unique moments in spectacular locations. The live sessions present some of the world’s most captivating artists in very intimate spaces.
Last month, Abrams released the raw and radian single she brought to the Circle Sessions. Produced by her frequent collaborator Aaron Dessner of The National, “Difficult” inhabits a more expansive and high-energy sound while pushing deeper into Abrams’s unflinching introspection.
Co-written by Abrams and Dessner, “Difficult” opens on a softly stunning line that perfectly encapsulates the poetic realism at the heart of Abrams’s songwriting (“My double vision is only amplifying everything he isn’t”). With its moody collision of crystalline textures, drum-machine beats, and delicate piano tones, the track builds to a brightly soaring chorus as Abrams sheds light on the claustrophobia that comes with being unable to escape your own thoughts and possibly destructive patterns (e.g., “I’ve been drinking and staying up too late, reliving bad decisions”).
Centered on her quietly commanding vocal work, “Difficult” ultimately reveals Abrams’s rare capacity to weave a whirlwind of emotions into sing-along-ready lyrics and unpredictable yet immediately catchy melodies.
“Difficult” arrives as the follow-up to Abrams’s captivating and confessional single “Block me out”–an April release. Co-written by Abrams and Dessner and recorded at the famed Long Pond Studio in New York, “Block me out” opens on a series of confessions that immediately prove the subtle power of her storytelling (“I’ll say whatever you want but I’ve become such a liar/ I used to follow my gut but now I’m just getting higher”).