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REVIEW OF "NEVER ENDING SONG" BY CONAN GRAY

Ev FussMay 19, 2023

Best known for his hits “Maniac” and “Heather,” Conan Gray released a new single, representing a new era of potentially more energetic and upbeat music.

Conan started his career doing covers on YouTube, most notably with his cover of “Radio” by Lana Del Rey. He released his debut album, Kid Krow, in March of 2020, which reached #5 on Billboard Top 200, #1 Pop Album, and #2 Billboard Albums. This put Conan on the up-and-up in the music industry and he headlined a world tour in 2022, during which he released his second album, Superache.

Now Conan is back with the single “Never Ending Song,” which strays away from his slower, heavily emotional songs which he has released in the past. This does seem to stay true to his prior history of releasing faster paced songs from albums as singles before the full project is complete. Prior to releasing Superache, Conan released “Jigsaw,” “People Watching,” and “Memories,” which are arguably some of the more fast paced songs on the album, though still jam-packed with raw emotion.

Though seemingly upbeat through the quick drumbeats and a catchy chorus, Conan, as usual, hides a more sorrowful story between the lines. A fair amount of his songs have a common theme of pining over someone that may not feel the same way romantically, and “Never Ending Song” is no different.

    "First, I'll say, "I apologize for calling

    But I saw your face in a magazine today"

    Wasn’t you, too late

    All my tears already fallin'

    Tried to turn the page

    But our story wasn't stoppin’"

Seemingly referencing a theme he references in one of his earlier songs, “The Story,” where he ends on saying “it’s not the end of the story,” Conan is saying that though this person is farther in his past, their story is yet to end because they are still on Conan's mind.

    "You and I

    Sacrificed my adolescence

    Just to waste my time"

Many of Conan's first original songs, most of which are on the EP Sunset Season, are focused around a crush he had in high school which seemingly was left unresolved. This is most greatly referenced in the song “Crush Culture” off the EP and his later single “The King.” In these lines Conan seems to be reflecting on that experience and the great impact it had on him.

    "Can you make it stay forеver?

    Are we done?

    Can you make it play?

    On, and on, and on

    Like a never-ending song"

The bridge and chorus of the song tie together the concept of pining for someone and feeling as though you can’t move on even if there are no means of continuation. Tying the song together in a way that feels upbeat seems to be pointing Conan in the direction of yet another pop hit.

This is merely my personal interpretation of the song as someone who has been listening to Conan since he first started his YouTube career. I had the honor of seeing him in Chicago on his 2022 World Tour where he put on an amazing show despite being slightly sick during his performance. Conans most popular song, “Heather,” recently reached over a billion streams on Spotify and I am excited to see where this new era takes him.

Keep up with Conan Gray at https://www.conangray.com/