Indie-pop powerhouse Conan Gray is back with an explosive new release “Overdrive.” With two platinum releases (“Maniac” and “Heather”) under his belt, he’s coming out of quite the 2020. And if past is precedent, he’s set to have an even bigger 2021.
“Overdrive” is a euphoric, groovy, pop track that will have you feeling like you’re speeding down a deserted highway in the dark of night. Seem specific? Take a look at the album art and video — they perfectly encapsulate the feeling of listening to the song. It’s the feeling of freedom from driving, top-down, with a cityscape passing in the distance. It’s escapism at its finest.
The track opens with muted, ambient synths that feel distant throughout the first verse. His lyrics are full of youthful impulsiveness, “Only met on the weekend / said I’m not catchin’ feelings / oh, I guess I lied / divin’ off of the deep end / I can’t think of a reason / we should take our time.” As the song builds to the chorus, you get the feeling that he’s about to let all of his hesitations go.
The drop of the chorus brings all of the distant synths from the verses into focus. Everything feels like it finally comes together when the drums kick in. His lyrics are passionate and purposeful, singing “Burnin’ down the street, no left, right, left, right / I don’t wanna see no red light, red light / fast lane on the beat, go ten, five, ten, five / you right next to me, feel the heat / goin’ overdrive.”
He’s talking about the type of love that makes you want to throw your hesitations out the window, while you cut the breaks and go full speed ahead. It’s this impulsiveness that makes the lyrics so relatable. Combined with the stellar production, “Overdrive” makes out to be the type of song you have on replay for hours.
The second verse cuts out the drums and guitars again, leaving nothing but the spacious synths as Gray continues to talk down any of his doubts, “Yeah, I know you’re a stranger / but I’m likin’ the danger / of the “I don’t know” / don’t give a fuck about labels / throw thе dice on the table / and just let ’em roll.” By the time the second chorus hits, you’re already singing along.
Gray’s “Overdrive” is an indie-pop masterpiece. It’s lyrically simple, yet catchy. Easy to listen to, yet sonically complex. Even on the first listen, the track somehow has the power to transport you into his escapist fantasy. After several listens, all I can say is that I can’t wait to see what he does next.