Conan Gray’s “Jigsaw” Is an Honest and Heartbreaking Diary Entry


Photo: Brian Ziff

Love is nothing short of a wild thing. Sometimes, it can feel like the best thing in the entire world. Other times, it can cause you to change for someone else; so much so that you don't even recognize who you are anymore. We're all puzzle pieces, but we cannot force our pieces to connect if they aren't meant to. Conan Gray's latest release, "Jigsaw," comes to this harsh realization, and honestly, it's kind of heartbreaking.

"Jigsaw" starts out soft, but not necessarily sweet. A barely-there acoustic guitar accompanies Gray as he sings about changing bits and pieces of himself in the hopes that his special someone will return his feelings. In the first verse, he sings, "If changing my clothes would make you like me more / If changing my hair would make you care / Then I’d grab the kitchen scissors
/ And cut myself to slivers / For you." "Jigsaw" carries a similar theme to Kid Krow's "Heather;" the desire of wanting to be someone else in order to be with someone else. Only this time around, Gray trades soft pop for alternative rock.

During the chorus, Gray eventually admits he would go as far as changing everything about himself for this person, comparing himself to a puzzle made of a million pieces that no longer fit one another. The emotional intensity of the storytelling is directly reflected in its production; electric guitars, echoing harmonies, and angsty vocals are stacked upon one another. For the lack of a better phrase: Conan went off - as he should. Sometimes, we just need to get everything off of our chest, and "Jigsaw" does this in a way that is palatable, relatable, and insanely catchy.

"I wrote 'jigsaw' originally as a bit of a diary entry rant for myself. I'd spent my entire life contorting myself and changing everything I used to be in order to make everybody happy. I was so used to trying to please everyone that, when it came to love, I started to do the same. I thought maybe if I dress a certain way, act a certain way, do my hair the way you'll like, then maybe you'll finally love me. It didn't work, obviously. By the end of it all it I ended up looking in the mirror and barely recognizing my rearranged and twisted reflection. I hope that ‘jigsaw’ is a bit of a warning to people. That destroying yourself to win somebody's love will only leave you empty on the other side. Because in the end, that person won't love you, just the version of you that you made for them. Instead choose to become somebody that you love," shares Gray. 

I started listening to Conan during his "Sunset Season" era and it has been incredible to witness his development as an artist. Especially with "Jigsaw" and his prior single "Telepath," he's been experimenting with his indie-pop sound and it is most certainly paying off. "Jigsaw" is the fourth pre-release of Conan's sophomore album CG2, set to release in 2022.

Listen to "Jigsaw" below: