Departing from his usual heartfelt and melancholic genre of songs, Indie-pop artist Conan Gray recently released his newest track titled “Lonely Dancers.” The song is the fourth single from his third studio album:Found Heaven.” On January 31, Gray revealed that his newest album would be available to stream on April 5, while his newest track would be coming out on February 9 alongside a music video.

Gray stated that for his newest album, he wanted to try out something different and explore new music since his first two albums, “Kid Krow and “Superache,” felt too similar. He wanted his latest album to be more upbeat rather than slow and sappy like his previous works, and so he took inspiration from 1980s pop aesthetic and chose that as the core genre of his album. The album, he described, is about developing a crush, getting into a relationship, and then having that relationship come crashing down. 

Lonely Dancersstays true to the description and takes heavy inspiration from 1980s pop, making for an interesting experience since it’s so different from any of Gray’s prior works. The music is upbeat and catchy, with a significant emphasis placed on synth-pop and groove throughout the tune. Paired with the utilization of Gray’s catalog of vocal ranges and voice inflections, especially his lower register, the song very much makes for a 1980s party aesthetic. As the narrative follows Gray’s character after he sees his lover kissing another person, the music video features Gray dancing by himself in a club that screams 1980s. From the checkered dance floor to the vinyl record player, neon signs, and multicolored spotlights, to the over-the-top 80s attire featuring silver-lined shades, quirky leather jackets, and cowboy hats. 

However, even though Conan Gray relentlessly advertised the track, posted teasers, and made efforts to garner attention, Lonely Dancers turned out to be his worst-performing debut single to date. This is possibly due to the 80s genre being new to Conan, and, by extension, new to his fans who weren’t expecting a tune that deviated so much from his usual pieces of music. Another factor that could have affected the song’s performance was UMG (Universal Music Group)’s recent decision to pull all of their music off of TikTok. This means that artists like BTS, Olivia Rodrigo, and Conan Gray no longer have their music on TikTok. Since Conan Gray primarily used TikTok to advertise his music, he was unable to use any audio teasers for his upcoming song, limiting the attention he could garner. 

 Although “Lonely Dancers is Gray’s worst-performing debut song, there is little noticeable disappointment online from his fans. Although the fandom has a divided opinion when it comes to the song, most can agree that Gray is trying to branch his music out. Fans have been very supportive of Gray’s efforts to diversify and appreciate that he’s started exploring with his music rather than just sticking to the same vague genre. Although this song didn’t perform well, the very first song on “Found Heaven,” called “Never Ending Song,” was one his best performing songs, indicating that Conan is able to find success in unfamiliar territory. Fans eagerly await to see Conan’s newest venture as the album drops in only a few months.