Stream Julia Michaels' debut mini album, Nervous System.
Julia Michaels has lent her unmatched songwriting talents to some of the industry's brightest stars, including Justin Bieber (“Sorry”) Britney Spears (“Slumber Party”) Selena Gomez (“Hands To Myself”) Ed Sheeran (“Dive”) Fifth Harmony (“All In My Head”) and Kelly Clarkson (“War Paint”), but it's high time for the 23-year-old to stand on her own.
Michaels' new mini album, Nervous System, debuts today (July 28). It's a collection of seven original songs from the budding pop star, including previously released tracks "Issues," which has racked up more than 360 million streams on Spotify alone, and "Uh Huh." The video for the latter premiered earlier this week.
Her music sounds like something a seasoned veteran five albums in would release. Why? The structure of each track is impeccable, but more importantly there's a cohesive message laced on every track. It feels as if Julia has arrived to a romantic crossroads, and she's taking us along for the journey.
On "Just Do It," Julia sings about urging her significant other to breakup up with her swiftly. "So if you're gonna do it then baby just do it," she sings over a sugary beat. The lyrics are actually quite sad. "Don't let me down gently."
Another highlight is "Make It Up To You." The slinky song twists Michaels soft vocals into something robotic and the chorus is frenetic. "I know I said that I'd call but I never said when / Always holdin' over your head everything we've been through." Same with "Pink," it's a quirky pop cut that tinkers Julia's voice in between whispers and its magnetic chorus; one of the best on the record.
“Don’t Wanna Think” is an emotionally-charged piano ballad about drowning your sorrows. “Now I'm not really one for drinking songs / But I guess that I should probably write one / Cause I'm feeling pretty lonely.”
We’re also unfamiliar with “Worst In Me,” the mini-album’s tender power ballad about self-sabotaging a relationship that has real potential. “But maybe it's the worst in me / That's bringing out the worst in you / I know we could fix these kinks / But the worst in me doesn't want to.”
It's unclear where Julia stands emotionally since wrapping Nervous System. There are so many unanswered questions – is she ready for singledom? Where does she go from here? Is she happy with the "restraints" of her current relationship? Or is she just really, really great at storytelling? It remains to be seen, but one thing's for sure: Michaels will find her way.
Stream below (available beginning at midnight EST):