Described by Billboard as “an unforgettable Pop Artist”, Conan Mac released his first independent song this month. Written four years ago at the age of 20 with Chloe Francesca and Patch Boshell, “Kissing in the Rain” is a catchy, pop, imagery-charged hit. Mac’s newest song bridges Hollywood’s classic falling in love trope with the act of falling in love in real life.
“Kissing in the Rain” begins with a slow but still pop-y and energetic soundtrack. The piano and electronic beats create a movie-like background, perfect for the Hollywood theme like the moment right before the curtain lifts or the movie starts.
Mac then sings: “Has a Hollywood ending ever seemed so tempting?” Alluding to Hollywood romance endings (not any of the creepy thriller endings), Mac appeals to most of his audience. Almost everyone has had a moment where they have romanticized and hoped for the iconic Hollywood romance story. Especially as one grows up and watches friends begin to fall in love and fictional characters their age fall in love, everyone wants love more and more. Mac’s opening lyric is perfect for the story he is telling and perfect for connecting with the audience, creating a relatable hit.
In his chorus, Mac sings, “Now kissing in the rain don’t seem so bad / Your lips are on my neck, hands on my back / You could be the one to teach me how to fall and handle that / Till I land on my feet / Whatcha doing to me.” Through the chorus, Mac crafts a beautiful image with emotion. It’s not so much about the act of kissing in the rain; it’s about who it’s with. Mac emphasizes the feelings and trust he has for the person he loves. He implies that initially, he didn’t love the idea of kissing in the rain, but his partner causes him to enjoy the moment. By highlighting how the person and emotions they evoke make for the moment, rather than the moment itself, Mac recenters the romantic narrative from specific acts to how one’s partner makes you feel.
Later in the second verse, Mac refers to that iconic kissing in the rain trope as he sings, “that scene in the movie was always fiction to me,” another extremely relatable lyric. Mac doesn’t worsen the romanticization of romance and Hollywood endings that leaves people with a false sense of how love works. Rather Mac bridges the gap between Hollywood and real life, illustrating that love like Hollywood isn’t out of reach, but it is possible. However, Mac makes it his own through his storytelling lyrics that illustrate his experience.
Furthermore, the bridge of “Kissing in the Rain” came at the perfect time. Right after the previous chorus, Mac stops singing as his instruments continue to play, allowing the listener to think and process all that Mac has been saying. Then as Mac begins to sing, a slower, calmer soundtrack plays to complement the lyrics. The lyrics focus on the struggles and expectations put on love by ourselves and the media we consume. Mac sings: “Been tryna to fit into a box and / Been tryna cut everyone off I’m / Still figuring out what it’s about now now / The moment that all of it stopped was / The moment I knew it was love cos / We’ve found a way that we can escape now now.” While Mac’s experience is specific to himself, his lyrics are broad enough to be accessible to the audience. Mac touches upon how no one really knows or understands love with the implication that it takes time and experience. In the end, Mac emphasizes he was freed when he realized it was real love and potentially not love that was forced to succeed in or to succumb to the pressure of finding love. Real love allowed him to move past and escape the romanticized ideals and images of Hollywood love and love in general.
Mac describes "Kissing in the Rain” as “a chilled romantic track that is easy to listen to and even easier to fall in love with." It is definitely that. Right off the bat, I loved “Kissing in the Rain” and was ready to listen to it on repeat forever.
Mac is perfect for fans of Ed Sheeran, Troye Sivan, Shawn Mendes, Lauv, and Justin Bieber.
Conan Mac is a singer-songwriter hailing from the UK. He began releasing music in 2017. Mac has reached over 30 million streams worldwide and performed all over. Mac toured US colleges as well as performed at the BBC Introducing Live, London 02 Academy, Windsor Racecourse, and BBC Carfest. In addition, he has collaborated with global artists such as Brazilian DJ ‘KVSH’ and Danish duo ‘Toomanylefthands,’ producing stellar dance hits. Mac’s song aesthetic mixes “story telling lyrics and easy-going pop tones.”
Written by Anne Friedman