Good Luck Babe

This queer artist’s song about an old crush is going viral for all the right reasons

High school crushes have a way of staying with us long into adulthood, and it’s no surprise why. These are formative fixations that show up at an age when our hormones are raging and we’re in deep need of love and acceptance. Add to this heady mix the fact that most queer kids are just starting to learn who they are, and you’ve got a recipe for heartbreak.

But it’s not all bad: after all, some of the best art is created from unrequited love. Just ask gay songwriter Kevin Atwater, whose soft-spoken ode to an old crush is currently giving Phoebe Bridgers a run for her sad gay money.

The Illinois-born, New York-based queer songwriter is giving every emo gay something to cry about with his tender, sad recollection of a friendship that could have been something more. The story song recalls how his high school crush invited him to his wedding a month before the event, in the middle of the night, which sends the singer spiraling into a breathy recollection of what could have been. “I think you were drunk,” he croons, “you spelled wedding wrong.” But it’s still a thrill that after all this time, he’s still crossing his old crush’s mind. We learn about their tender high school friendship: how they shared a kiss one night, how even though they were entering the age when “boys like to be mean,” the tenderness between them never turned into something painful.

“We used to make fun of kids marrying young,” Atwater sings, “but it’s not as funny when it’s someone you loved.” He goes on to say how he wishes he had the courage to call him up “with his hand down his pants” and talk to him again, but he knows he never will.

Basically, this is an instant classic. If you’re a fan of crying to gentle acoustic music, you’re in luck, because this song goes incredibly hard.

“You’re the greatest,” commented folk singer Noah Kahan under the video. “This hurts very badly!! Thanks!!” wrote another commenter who managed to capture my exact feelings. Another fan simply stated: “this is old Conan Gray and I love it.”

I mean, bingo.

The song has caused such a splash that Atwater has had to make not one but two follow-ups to “lore dump” about the relationship, the first explaining that no, he did not attend his crush’s wedding, the second claiming that the “why did you invite me to your wedding” to “Good Luck Babe” pipeline is indeed real, and very gay. As if we didn’t know!

We all needed some catharsis this week, and Kevin Atwater provided it for us. We have no choice but to stan.

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