Top 5 Conan Gray songs

Kate Michel, Linda Hu, and Ava Arcona

For millions of teens worldwide, Conan Gray’s songs serve as anthems of teen rebellion, ranging from upbeat to downright depressing. With almost 20 million monthly listeners on Spotify, Gray has become one of our generation’s most influential indie artists as well as a queer icon outside of the music world. Whatever mood you’re feeling, one of these Conan Gray songs has what you need. We compiled a list of our top five songs from Gray’s discography in anticipation of his sophomore album, “Superache,” which will be released on June 24.

#5: “People Watching” 

“People Watching” is one of Gray’s more upbeat songs, but its deeper message is far less positive. The lyrics start by telling the story of a couple whose relationship Gray is watching from the outside, hoping he will one day experience the kind of love they have. One of Gray’s newer releases, “People Watching,” which will appear on his upcoming album, stands out because of Gray’s powerful vocals in the chorus and his skilled storytelling. The steady beat and almost one-note vocals of the verses contrast beautifully against the dramatic, emotional chorus.

#4: “The Story”

“The Story” is a slow, acoustic ballad off of Gray’s first studio album “Kid Krow” (2020), a modern Shakespearian tragedy in song form. Accurately named, the lyrics follow three different bleak scenes about love and loss. The chorus highlights the bitter reality of love, with the verses each telling their own story. Heavy drums and harmonies are layered over the acoustic guitar on the bridge, creating a hair-raising effect leading into the final chorus, ending with a hopeful note with Gray as the speaker.

#3: “Crush Culture” 

“Crush Culture” is the third track on Gray’s EP, “Sunset Season” (2018). The upbeat, tongue-in-cheek song is about the pains and emotions of teenage love. The repetition throughout the track emphasizes Conan’s disdain towards crushes and the glorification of “crush culture.” While crushes are a prominent part of adolescence, they are often romanticized and idolized, and the song depicts disgust and annoyance towards love with a rebellious attitude, fun chorus and relatable lyrics.

#2: “Fight or Flight” 

“Fight or Flight” is the seventh track on Gray’s debut album, “Kid Krow.” The song is about Gray’s experience with finding out that the person he loved was in love with someone else. With its heavy guitar and drums on the chorus, contrasted by stripped instrumentals, the song conveys an intense emotional and chaotic feeling. Gray demonstrates his storytelling ability in a unique way on this rock piece, putting a fresh spin on the typical cheating story.

#1: “Affluenza” 

“Affluenza” discusses the troubles of wealthy teens and the irony of first world problems. ‘Affluenza’ is a term describing the privileged nature of entitled children, with common side effects being substance abuse and lack of motivation. Gray criticizes the overindulgent lifestyles of many American teens and exposes the underlying melancholy of affluence. This song is our top pick because of the important message set to catchy instrumentals, perfect for singing out the car window on a summer night.