Conan Gray - Found Heaven (Bullseye Edition)

Regular price $ 39.99

Bullseye Edition Vinyl

Conan Gray takes a big, euphoric pop swing on 2024's Found Heaven, an album that finds him explicitly embracing a dayglow, '80s-style Euro synth pop aesthetic. With his bright croon and knack for diaristic lyrics, Gray was a breakout star of social media just prior to the release of his 2020 debut, Kid Krow, where he built a devoted fan base with his confessional indie pop and acoustic balladry. While he already expanded his sound with 2022's Superache, Found Heaven takes the embrace of professionally crafted studio pop even further as Gray frames his vocals in majestic crystal palaces of synthesizers, processed guitars, and layered vocal overdubs. It's a move that might threaten to bury him or wash away his personality if the whole thing wasn't done with such a purposeful sense of glee. Helping him achieve this very specific sound is a cadre of production superstars, including Max Martin, Greg Kurstin, Oscar Holter, and Ilya, among others. Together, they've come up with an album that is at times campy, earnestly romantic, and endlessly listenable. Part of the fun and endearing aspect of Gray's turn towards '80s Euro-pop is just how well he and his production partners captured the studio textures and anthemic energy of the genre. Cuts like the opening title track and "Lonely Dancers" mix pulsing laser-tone synths, dramatic, pounding drum beats, and classically harmonized, widescreen choruses, all bringing to mind a wry blend of iconic '80s bands like Yazoo, Eurythmics, and Bronski Beat. Other pop touchstones crop up elsewhere, as on the orchestral-tinged "Alley Rose" and piano-driven "Forever with Me," both of which evoke the glitter-laden sound of ELO. We also get the cheekily titled "Fainted Love," which sounds nothing like the 1981 Soft Cell song it's referencing but still nails the fluorescent-spotlight dancefloor romanticism that Gray is aiming for and embodies throughout all of Found Heaven.