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Lion's Den (Original)

Type: Played online
Writers: Alexis Idarose Kesselman, Grace Vanderwaal
Times Performed: 2


Accompanying a cavalcade of small videoclips from her life and career (going all the way back to her Wizard of Oz days) - posted to her YouTube account, Grace said this about the song (7. July 2022): "“Nostalgia and homesickness are such similar things, but nostalgia stays planted. It’s the concept of feeling fondly(?) towards something indefinitely. But homesickness is temporary, it’s something you can relieve. I think a lot of parts of myself were stolen throughout the years. I want to just express all of these thoughts and feelings in Lion’s Den, and all these themes, just about how worsening a wound is so much easier than healing it. Thinking you are finding what you lost, when really you are just giving away what you had left”.

On Instagram Live on June 30, 2022, Grace called it a "really sad" song but at the same time reassured her followers that she was alright: "I am worried that people will be worried about me. I am fine, everything is OK,"I am actually a very happy person. Maybe that’s why I empty up all the built-up sadness into my music, and just make the fucking saddest, almost borderline concerning. But I need you to not be concerned. But it’s really sad, a little bit of a downer. It’s sad, tragic, crying alone in the middle of your room existential crisis really sad – vibe. It’s like driving in your car, feeling so ….Like playing Liability by Lorde and sobbing.”

Grace expanded on the background for the song in an interview with, published July 15. 2022: "I was just getting really trapped in a very vicious cycle that I think a lot of people have experienced before. It was just like, chasing happiness instead of finding it within yourself. And the thing I always do to make myself feel better and understand those things is to write a song about it. So I wrote "Lion's Den. I just think that it's really interesting how inner work is so much work, and it feels like homework. It's something that you need to do, but God it sucks. It seems like there are so many easier things, but there aren't. I began writing "Lion's Den" by myself in New York City before a producing session. I came in with this ballad and then we had this idea to make it this abstract, kind of anti-chorus thing that I've never really done before. So it was very collaborative. But it was definitely also scribbling it out. I was just in my room letting out all those anxiety things.
I really hope that I'm just an outlet that people can feel like they relate to somebody out there. Especially in Lion's Den when I say, ‘I'm human, but I'm falling.’ I feel like that was saying like, ‘I'm doing these things, I'm young and I'm able to do art for living, but I'm also struggling a lot of the time like a lot of people around me.’ So with [Lion’s Den], I just hope that people don't feel alone. I feel more unfiltered and vulnerable than ever been before. I feel like I’m at a point where I really want to invite my fans into my world of stories that I’ve never talked about before."

Vents Magazine (Not to be confused with VMagazine) wrote: “Lion’s Den” is the first musical offering from Grace’s upcoming new project that reflects on her growth as a child thrown into the spotlight. “I was always a really independent child, so it was weird to suddenly be in a situation where people were always around. I feel more unfiltered and vulnerable than I’ve ever been before. I feel like I’m at a point where I really want to invite my fans into my world of stories that I’ve never talked about and show them my experiences growing up in the spotlight,” (Interview with RJ Frometa, Vents Magazine, published July 15, 2022)

The song was released on July 15, 2022. Grace wrote in an Instagram post announcing the release: "Lion’s Den song and MV finally dropped. I just want to say from the bottom of my heart how proud I am of this work and how incredibly happy I am to share it with all of you finally. A very very special thanks to @_blythethomas for making this vision come to life. I love all of you so much and truly truly hope you enjoy. ❤️" The first comment was from Howie Mandel: "Love the song. Still a golden buzzer".

Grace co-wrote the song with Alexis Idarose Kesselman, who also produced the song. In an Instagram post, Idarose said of Grace: "Grace, you are a goddamn national treasure, and I had the best time eating sushi and making this with you" IDarose also posted a picture of the Lion's Den Yoga Studio in New York, perhaps alluding to that as an inspiration.

Grace's friend and videographer on the music video, Blythe Thomas, posted: "My day 1 sis and one of the most naturally gifted I've even been lucky enough to work with - love you G and excited for your new era."


2022.05.04 About a minute played from Grace's computer
2022.06.22 Teaser played on TikTok
2022.07.07 At home (1 minute live clip) - getting all silly at the end
2022.07.26 PACSUN Denim & Music (Soho PACSUN) Complete (but Facebook - so not accesible to all) 

Reviews, Reactions etc.

Type Comment Link
Song related contentInterview with V Magazine
Song related contentPart of orginal draft of the lyrics
Song related contentOfficial Lyric Video


Release Date Record Type Track
2022-07-15Lion's DenSingle1


Covers and Remixes

Type Comment Link