Featuring singles 21, Long Sleeves and I miss you, I’m sorry, the seven-track EP is a polished debut collection that lets Abrams’ crystal clear vocals shine.
The 21-year-old, whose first ever set of live gigs was postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, has been steadily building her brand of poignant, diary-like songs ever since 2019′s Mean It. Almost all of her promotion has had to take place online, with performances like her cover of The 1975′s Somebody Else. Minor is the culmination of her work thus far; her official introduction to the world.
The project opens with Friend, a confessional song about the impossibility of maintaining a friendship after a breakup. It’s reminiscent of the craft of artists such as Taylor Swift and Phoebe Bridgers, the latter of which Abrams has listed as an inspiration.
Like Friend, most of Minor features similarly sparse production that puts her vocals and songwriting in the spotlight. On the quirkily titled tehe, she looks back on a relationship that went on for longer than it should have. Long Sleeves has guitars and strings that rise and fall with Abrams’ turbulent heartbreak. “Fought till you tethered me / Swept under surfaces / Never enough of it”, she sings.
While Abrams may not be breaking new ground with the themes on the album, Minor is a fresh, tender look at the feelings of youth. One that perhaps too often gets buried beneath songs of carnal activity and bodily pleasures. It’s no wonder, then, that she has often been compared to predecessor Lorde, whose similarly introspective style characterised her ascent in the 2010s.
The comparison is almost inescapable on 21, which incidentally is produced by Lorde’s frequent collaborator Joel Little. The minimal, pulsating drumbeat is reminiscent of Little’s work on Pure Heroine. And lyrics like “I see the look in your eye and I’m biting my tongue / You’d be the love of my life when I was young” scream house party, Melodrama Lorde.
There’s no doubt that Lorde’s early work helped pave the way for the ‘bedroom pop’ singers of today, but it’s rare to see an artist be able to take from that and carve out something of her own — and Abrams has achieved just that. With Minor, she’s shown that she’s going places, and we’re hopping onboard for the ride.