It may only be July, but there are already some major contenders for the song of the summer, from Harry Styles’ “As It Was” to Lizzo’s must-have “About Damn Time.” A lesser-known track, however, gives these heavy hitters a serious run for their money: Don’t Lose Sight” by the group Lawrence. While not a chart-topper (yet), the pop track about chasing your dreams has taken over TikTok and racked up millions of Spotify streams for its catchy chorus (“This shit’s gonna kill me , but I won’t let it”) and a motivational message – plus the fact that Gracie and Clyde Lawrencethe extremely energetic sibling duo behind the band, perform the song with such infectious energy that it’s impossible not to feel an instant mood lift while listening to it.

Yet while the dance-worthy anthem sound of “Don’t Lose Sight” is key to its success, the song was originally very different – namely, a downer. “I wanted to write something more depressing,” reveals Gracie, the 24-year-old who swaps lead vocals with her brother and backs up the band on percussion alongside the rest of its eight members. Early 2021, when Lawrence was recording his album Hotel TV in Los Angeles, Gracie – who also stars in shows like The good wife and Younger — had just been rejected for a role she really wanted and planned to channel her disappointment into music. After talking it over with Clyde and their producer, however, they decided to turn his missed opportunity into a story of hope and perseverance, resulting in the uplifting song millions of fans now know.

Coming out of the studio at the time, Gracie recalls a recent Zoom chat, the siblings knew they were onto something special. “We both had kind of a frenetic energy going out that day, like something really cool was starting,” she says. They were perfect; the success of “Don’t Lose Sight” propelled the hitherto little-known Lawrence into the big leagues: appearing in a Microsoft commercial, performing on Jimmy Kimmel livesinging to packed crowds at Coachella, and now co-headlining the “Sounds of Summer” North American tour with Misterwives.

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Yet even as the group’s status rose, they worked to stay true to their family and friend roots, Gracie says, still incorporating easy banter and inside jokes into their live broadcasts (not to mention… ‘a heavy dose of 90s kid nostalgia; at Coachella, they played the Hi Arnold! theme song for no other reason than, well, why not?).

Although Gracie and her brother grew up playing music together at home and in cafes, Lawrence started out as a Clyde-only project, since he was four years older. After a few years of Clyde performing at colleges with her classmates and Gracie joining in on occasion, the then-teenager joined the band as an official co-leader in 2015, when she got his high school diploma.

She took a year off to record their debut album, Breakfast, before trying to balance music and college (she attended Brown University, like her brother and the other band members). Yet Gracie quickly discovered during her freshman year that Lawrence’s growing popularity and frequent tour dates often meant sacrificing time in school. “I went back for a week my second year, and I was gone every other day,” she recalled, adding that “trying to do college on the side is really not how it works. “.

“Clyde and I write by accident all the time,” Gracie laughs, noting that the band recently returned to the studio.

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Giving up was nerve-wracking, she says, but necessary: ​​”I knew what mattered most to me and where my priorities were.” Once fully on board, Gracie began writing more Lawrence songs, sharing the duty with Clyde and stealing the show at shows with her enormous voice and equally enormous personality. It’s impossible to watch a video of Gracie singing on stage without bursting into a smile, because Variety said after Lawrence’s performance at Coachella this year: “The band’s music is ready for any kind of party. … That level of joy, especially these days, is contagious.

“If you know us, or if you don’t, you’re going to have a great time on our show,” Gracie says of Lawrence’s MO. “It’s really important for us, to always try to bring people along.” However, not all of their fans embrace the group’s welcoming spirit. As the only female in the group, Gracie would often read comments on social media insulting her appearance or questioning her purpose in the group. While she easily dismisses the first type of criticism (“it’s like a fruit at hand”), the other sometimes slips under her skin, especially when it’s due to videos of her playing percussion or singing rather than lead vocals.

“On these songs, there’s always a comment like, ‘Sure, we just need one girl in the band to, like, stand there and dance and look weird,'” Gracie says rolling her eyes. “And it drives me crazy because if there was a man who just played drums and didn’t sing or anything, nobody would give a fuck! No one would even bat an eyelid. No one would ask why they are worthy of being in the group.

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She continues, “Things that bother me are things that seem really sexist towards women in music.” As frustrating as those comments may be, however, Gracie says they don’t deter her from making the music she loves and playing with her trademark liveliness. In fact, she says, she fully accepts the idea that not everyone is going to respond to her as she would like.

“I think it’s okay — I think there’s power in being someone people don’t always understand,” she says. “That means you’re specific, and I’d rather be specific, and myself, and authentic, and maybe a little weird than be everyone’s cup of tea.”

It’s an attitude long encouraged by her and Clyde’s parents, both artists themselves; mum Linda is a dancer and teacher, while dad Marc is a filmmaker known for writing movies like Music and Lyrics, Two weeks noticeand Miss Conviviality – the last of which featured an iconic contest theme song composed by then 5-year-old Clyde. In April, Laurent shared an adorable video of Clyde performing the track while a toddler Gracie sings, surprising their followers with the fun part of 2000s trivia.

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Now explaining the backstory, Gracie – whose name inspired Sandra Bullock’s character – says the Miss Conviviality the filmmakers were looking for a theme song, and because Clyde was “so crazy prodigious at a young age”, his father asked his opinion on the entries they had received so far. Instead of weighing in, the elementary student created his own track, which ended up being the producers’ final choice.

This kind of sweet, home-grown storytelling — and the pride Gracie clearly takes in talking about her brother’s early talents — is par for the course for Lawrence’s early family. But that doesn’t mean the siblings don’t support each other in independent ventures as well. For Gracie, it is action; she recently completed an arc on HBO Billions and still records auditions from the back of the band’s tour bus. “The band is obviously such an important part of my life and my family,” she says, but performing is something she can pursue “as an independent person.”

Not that she wouldn’t drop everything the moment the inspiration for a Lawrence song arose, though. “Clyde and I write by accident all the time,” Gracie laughs, noting that the band recently returned to the studio. There aren’t any definite plans for new releases yet, but whenever new music arrives, you can bet it’ll be imbued with the same level of stand-up, dance-fueled dynamism that has become the mainstay. group visit.

Rachel Simon is a writer who works in The New York Times, Charm, BNC News, Marie Claire, and many other outlets. Follow her on Twitter @rachel_simon.

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