Gracie Abrams talks first UK Top 40 single Close To You: "Holy s*it!"

Originally demo'd in 2018, Close To You's release sees ascendant star Gracie Abrams claim her first ever UK Top 40 single.
gracie abrams interview close to you

Gracie Abrams fans have been waiting a very long time for this moment. 

Today, the US singer-songwriter celebrates her first entry in the Top 40 of the Official Singles Chart with Close To You, a euphoric synth-pop banger reminiscent of the best of Lorde's generation-defining second record, Melodrama. 

But Gracie's road to her breakthrough UK chart success with Close To You has been long and winding; we first got a glimpse of the song back in 2018, but nothing seemingly ever came of the tantalising, 20 second glimpse of Gracie's biggest pop moment.

That is, until now. Released as a treat for fans to celebrate the incoming release of her second album The Secret Of Us. it's clear all the years waiting for Close To You have been worth the wait.

To celebrate her career-first achievement, we sat down with Gracie while she was stateside to talk about her Official Singles Chart debut, something that would have never happened without the support (and patience) of her fans.

Gracie, congratulations on your first UK Top 40 single! How are you feeling?

Thank you so much! I actually can't believe it still, it's hard to wrap my head around it. It's crazy that somewhere so far away from home recognises anything I do in any capacity. I'm very grateful that people in the UK seem to not hate the song...

I was actually very surprised when you announced you'd officially be releasing Close To You - I can remember listening to the snippet all those years ago. Was it always supposed to be a last mintue surprise for the fans?

It was truly a last minute surprise for me. The entire album was done. Like, done. I'd been getting nudged for the past seven years by people online [to drop Close To You]. I'd seen some TikToks about it and I actually listened to the song again for the first time in years with truly fresh ears. 

All of a sudden, it made sense for me in context of this album. Thematically and sonically, it actually seemed to belong somewhere for the first time, so that was a relief. It feels like an inside - not even an inside, at this point - joke between us all. I'm excited that people finally have it.

One thing that really surprised me - not much has changed, between the demo and the final version

I feel like people would have been deeply upset [if I changed anything]. You would have never heard from me again.

Aaron Dessner has produced the full album with you, but it's a really nice touch you finished Close To You with Sam De Jong, the producer of the original demo

Sam is so sweet. He's such a sweet guy. We were actually each other's first session in LA at the time. He's from New Zealand, but he's based here now., so it was nice to reconnect. We hadn't spoken in a really long time, but when I knew I wanted to finish [Close To You], I thought it would be so much sweeter for us to do it together. It was actually a really wholesome experience, the whole thing was done in 24 hours at Electric Lady [studios in New York], which is my favourite place in the world.

I think what made Close To You stand out for everyone from the beginning was how different it sounded to the rest of your material - has this made you maybe want to...make a whole album of synth-pop bangers?

It's funny thar you mention that, because everything I'm making since I finished The Secret Of Us has been so experimental and strange. So I have no idea. But I will definitely keep those voices in my head. People do seem to like it!

Gracie, I think your BRAT era is approaching

Oh yeah. totally. I'll start standing up on top of cars.

Have you got a message for your UK fans who sent Close To You to the Top 40 on the Official Chart?

Holy f*cking s*it! I can’t begin to thank [the fans] enough for caring about the music and welcoming it into their lives.  

This song has existed for so long and for it to see the light of day – and [see success] more than any of my other songs out there is so fulfilling. It’s entirely because of them that I get to do this [for a job] anyway. So I'm very grateful, and I can't wait to be back soon.

Close To You by Gracie Abrams is out now via Interscope. The Secret of Us drops June 21.

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Well done, Gracie! ❤️