By his own admission, Wrabel is used to writing songs about heartache. From unrequited feelings to break-ups, the seasoned songwriter is by no means a stranger to crafting a catchy song about lost love, having penned tracks for the likes of Kesha, P!nk, Ellie Goulding, Backstreet Boys and more over the course of his career. What he hasn't necessarily had the chance to write about is what happens after all the grief, tears and broken hearts have been mended. What happens when you've made peace and you're ready to finally move on? Enter Wrabel's newest single "happier."
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The first track off his forthcoming chapter of me EP, Wrabel returns today with lead single "happier." A soaring guitar-driven anthem, Wrabel's latest sees the artist's pop prowess on full display with cinematic swells, powerful vocals and a refrain that you will find humming to yourself long after. "I wanted something that just states what was and what is,” Wrabel explains. “Being happier isn’t always easy. It’s complicated. But it’s a beautiful realization to have with yourself. This song is a marker of that.” Focusing less on the sting of rejection or the gnawing void left by a breakup, "happier" is a refreshing departure for Wrabel, finding a bittersweet comfort in finally reaching the light at the end of the metaphorical tunnel.
“'happier' was such a surprise to me. It’s an idea I started but had no idea what it was or what it should be," Wrabel says of the track. "I felt like I’d heard that song before. Something like 'I hope you’re happier,' so I knew I didn’t want it to be that. I brought the idea to Eric Leva and he free-styled the verse and pre-chorus and I was like, 'Oh wow, okay.' We got together on the lyric and I’m just so happy (haha) with how it turned out. It was so much fun to share the song on TikTok in real time as we were working on it. I’d never let people in that closely on my process before. 'happier' is like a little reminder for myself that it’s okay to be... happier. A kind of milestone of realizing that slowly but surely, you do grow and heal and get over."
The single arrives alongside a new music video that sees the artist injecting a bit of camp into the emotionally uplifting performance. Leaving the somber embrace of a lover in the pouring rain, Wrabel embraces happier endeavors such as a confetti-covered tea party with a friend, lounging by the pool and playfully covering his kitchen floor with handwritten signs.
"Making this video with Lane Smith was so fun," Wrabel says. "It’s funny, with this song, everybody has been trying to get me to smile. I think we got one true, pure smile in that incredible neon Dries Van Noten suit. It was just a really fun and low-stress day on set (thanks to their extensive preparation), and such a bonus to have my dog Super as a costar.”
Watch the PAPER premiere of Wrabel's "happier" below.
Photo by Celina Kenyon