It’s been over a month since Conan Gray dropped the unbelievable banger, ‘Telepath’! It’s been stuck in all of our playlists as the incredible 80’s vibes in the song transport us to one of music’s most remarkable eras! Speaking of an era, I’m convinced that we are entering the new era of Conan Grey with Conan’s upcoming album (yes, an album is in the works!). Gone are the days of sad boy anthems, because Conan shared with us that he’s got a lot of new stories up his sleeve.
First things first, let’s discuss the song. We’ve been jamming to it for over a month, and I’m sure we’ve all noticed some things. To be honest, this song is so simple. It’s simply making fun of someone who can’t make up their mind about their feelings for the persona. Yet, we’re living for it. Why, you ask? The answer is: Simplicity!
Over the years, the reasons people enjoy music have really changed – from living it up on the dance floor in the ’70s and ’80s, to jamming to songs that make you forget everything in the ’90s and 2000s. But today, we seek relevance and relatability. Today, we want to hear our favourite musicians describe the same things we feel. Today, we seek that sort of validation. Today, we want simplicity!
And Conan knows that. He shared that releasing his first album, Kid Krow, really changed his whole outlook on music. Seeing that he’d connected with so many people through songs based on his own emotions birthed this realisation that all of us really go through the same things.
“That’s how I’ve handled music since then, and it’s very interesting and weirdly humbling… I think that for so much of my life, I spent thinking like, “Oh maybe it’s just a ‘me’ thing”, but now I’m like, “Nah! We’re all the same! All of us. We’re not different at all. We’re all the same exact person in a slightly different, weird flesh mould!” Strange way to describe humans, but isn’t that just so true?
Conan may be giving us a dance bop from the ’80s, but he’s bridging the gap between him and his young listeners with sprinkles of the Gen Z lingo, like ‘You’ll be sendin’ me trash you should’ve left in the drafts’. Combining the danceability of the past and the desire for the relatability of today, Conan has crafted a magical song that will remain timeless.
Yet another thing that’s different in this song that we just love, is that this isn’t just another sad boy anthem. We’ve always epitomised Conan as the king of iconic sad boy anthems. But this time, there’s something else that the king is feeling: annoyance. He’s annoyed at the indecisiveness of his supposed lover! He’s frustrated, incredulous, and done with the hot-and-cold treatment! Instead of clutching his poor heart in denial of the heartbreak he’s being put through, he’s adopting a cool attitude towards the mental abuse. He’s calling it as he sees it, and isn’t afraid. In fact, it screams power.
But how did he even begin to write ‘Telepath’? Conan described the creative process that this song had been on before landing its way into our playlists. He shared that he’d started off with the chorus first. When he got to the “I got a feeeeeelin’” part that starts off the dance party, he felt that it needed a little more oomph. That’s when he felt that it really needed the 80’s vibe, or else it just wouldn’t sound right. Don’t we all concur? Without that feel from the ’80s, this song wouldn’t sound as iconic as it does now.
“This chorus is ridiculously 80’s. This song is very obviously not supposed to be a super serious song. It’s supposed to be a little sarcastic, so we wanted to kinda just purposely let the song be a little ridiculous, with the chord change, the key change and all the silly things. And that’s what the song is supposed to be, you know? It’s supposed to be fun because the song is me making fun of someone the entire time. So that’s kinda what we were going for,” Conan explained.
He calls it ridiculous; I call it genius. It all completely makes sense! We love Conan because he isn’t afraid to explore and go a little crazy. It’s all about representing the lyrics and what he’s trying to convey.
Now to answer the question that’s still on everyone’s minds: “Where’s the music video?”. Well, Conan shared that the focus for this single was solely on the artwork, and no music video was shot. But that’s not to say that the future is void of Conan’s music videos! He dropped not-so-subtle hints about being able to expect some music videos in the future as he very deviously said, “I have a lot of sneaky things up my sleeve!”. We’re holding him to it!
But seriously though, a massive shout-out to the teams involved in the photoshoots for the artwork, because they are so gorgeous! They’re warm and cosy and refuse to reveal the fury engraved in the song’s lyrics.
Now, back to this new era of Conan! As I mentioned earlier, we’re past the days of sad boy anthems. When I asked Conan himself about the themes that we will get to hear about in the future, he shared, “There’s a lot of new themes that I talk about on the album. I think everyone’s lives constantly are changing, and there’s been new problems and issues that have arrived in my life that I didn’t think I’d ever have to talk about, but you know, they show up. Yeah, there’s a lot of different themes. I think it’s always fun for me to put the sadder topics and wrap them in bubble gum because it’s more fun to have a song like that.”.
He additionally shared, “I think these days I am looking for someone to listen to my troubles and say “Oh yeah, yeah! I’ve felt that too!” because things that are new have happened to me since my old album, so I never got any consolation!” We gotchu, Conan!
I adore the relationship that Conan has forged with his fans. It’s a two-way street where both are comforting each other, listening to each other. Such fan-artist relationships are rare nowadays, and it’s so lovely to see Conan thinking of his fans like his buddies!
Anyway, with the new album on its way, I’m stoked to see this new era of Conan Gray. What will we see? What stories will he share? What troubles has he faced? How has he coped? So many questions! Keep up with the updates on Conan’s Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages!
While we eagerly await his upcoming album, keep listening to the gem ‘Telepath’ and have infinite dance parties in your bedroom as you stream this on Spotify or Apple Music, or watch the vibey lyric video on YouTube!
Now, I know you’re about to go listen to Conan’s song right now. Call me a Telepath.
Visuals courtesy of Universal Music Singapore.