Conan Gray’s “Fainted Love” Lyrics Meaning, Explained


As one of Gen Z’s most acute and open-hearted songwriters, Conan Gray has perfected the art of writing a breakup banger. On his third studio album, Found Heaven, there are plenty of them, but none stands out as much as “Fainted Love,” a technicolor synth explosion that pushes his favorite themes of unrequited love and longing to another level. And there’s good reason for it too — as the singer told NYLON in the upcoming print issue, he really did live through a quaking heartbreak.

“Everything in my life was opening up and blossoming and it was just unbelievable happiness,” he said. “And then, of course, I went and got my heart absolutely destroyed and then spent the next six months writing the album, the most depressed I’ve ever been in my entire life.”

That feeling is found all over the album’s pulsing third track, which opens on a scene of Gray driving to someone’s house — only to have to talk them down from doing something drastic: “And I said, “Calm down, I’ll be there by nine/ Don’t you get yourself down, not the end of your life/ Don’t mean that you’re marrying me tonight, tonight.”

Later, the song devolves into a tragic tug-of-war as Gray desperately sings about wanting to stay close to the person who’s trying to push him away. “When your heart aches and it’s dead in the night/ Don’t worry for me, it’s cool/ It’s enough to survive, don’t worry I want your/ Fainted love, that’s enough, fainted love,” he belts on the hook. It eventually ends on a low note with Gray convincing himself they’ll be together for the long haul. “Say you’ll love me for life, say you’ll never leave/ Kiss me ‘til I almost believe, tonight.”

Compared to his oeuvre of other breakup anthems, “Fainted Love” reaches an extremity of pain we haven’t seen before from the singer — which would make sense as an ode ostensibly dedicated to the first great love of his life.

And though Gray demurred from providing any concrete identifying features about who this person might be, he did hint that they were friends and still in the same group chat together. “It was one of those situations where you were just friends, and then we were together one day, and you know where you could just feel something in the air?” he told NYLON. “All of a sudden, everything was different, and it was just this unanimous understanding like, ‘Oh, we are in love with each other. Aren’t we?”


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