Music News and Interviews

Conan Gray “People Watching” Song Review

Conan Gray’s sophomore album “Superache” was recently released and there is a single on there that I haven’t gotten out of my head since 2021 when it was initially released.

“People Watching” is one of his most relatable songs to me personally. Although, most of Conan’s songs hit super close to home for me.

At first, I was skeptical of Conan being such a famous artist who writes so much about love and yet somehow has notably never been in a relationship in his whole life. But watching interview after interview, I realized we both might be similar regardless of his status as a celebrity; we both have high standards and are super picky about almost everything. 

“People Watching” is an indie-pop track about how Conan is a people watcher and he observes all these couples and people wishing he could feel and experience the things they are. 

The swelling of the piano instrumentals and drums builds as the passion in his vocals does and gives such a distinct depth. It stays upbeat while maintaining this light energy to it.

As I discussed in the blog about “Yours”, Conan has strong vocals and isn’t afraid to showcase them in his bridges. The bass kicks in as the piano and drumming get more intense and instead of sounding chaotic the whole piece comes together to get this angst and longing across. 

For the lyrics themselves, Conan never hesitates to write about thoughts we all have.  The lyrics have a way of storytelling, not just to portray emotions but play a scene in our minds as we listen.

The song starts off with the lyrics ‘That wasn’t funny but she laughed so hard, she almost cried |  They’re counting months they’ve been together, almost 49 | He’s making fun of how she acted ’round the holidays | She wears a ring but they tell people that they’re not engaged.” 

It’s a simple people-watching scenario including the small details that those who don’t people-watch might not notice. It’s subtle but it highlights from the get-go that Conan is already micro-analyzing their relationship. 

The chorus hits the hardest and is the part of the song where he is the most vulnerable singing “I wanna feel all that love and emotion |  Be that attached to the person I’m holding |  Someday, I’ll be fallin’ without caution |  But for now, I’m only people watching” 

Personally, this hits the hardest because it’s so easy to watch people in relationships and think they are happy and living their dreams but we’ll never really know what their relationship is like. 

My favorite line in the whole song is “Someday, I’ll be falling’ without caution.” Overthinking often leads to problems and when you’re in a secure relationship, it’s something you don’t need to worry about or be afraid of.  Falling without caution. Being able to fall in love without worrying about yourself too much.

Anyway, before things get too sappy, the concept of People Watching is so interesting to me too.  Being able to observe people’s lives and imagine scenarios about them in mind for fun. It’s an easy distraction from the mundane every day.

Check out the music video:

Music video for “People Watching” by Conan Gray.

If you want to listen to the full “Superache” album check it out on Spotify.

By Mitali Joshi

A Senior at NCSU who is an enthusiastic consumer of music and loves writing about it.