Pop singer-songwriter Julia Michaels released her new EP Inner Monologue Part I on Jan. 24. She follows her breakthrough single "Issues" with a 6-track effort that's even more telling. Her confessional pen is pretty mighty on Monologue.
Michaels began as a go-to songwriter who penned hits for Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber and Britney Spears. The single "Issues" kick-started her own career as an artist. Many people connected with the love song that lightly touched on mental health. "Anxiety," the lead single from Inner Monologue, is a sequel with Gomez returning the favor. Julia puts her anxiety at the forefront and details the struggle with it. "I've been told that I could take something to fix it / Damn, I wish it was that simple," she sings. Selena, who has battled her own personal issues, shares a similar experience. "Feel like I'm always apologizing for feeling like I'm out of my mind when I'm doing just fine," she adds. Like a therapy session, Michaels and Gomez lay it all out on this cathartic pop bop.
On "Into You," Michaels opens up about her recent breakup and how difficult it's been to move on. "I wish we didn't have so many friends in common," she admits. Her conflicting feelings about the dude are relatable and such a rush. Julia laments more of that split on "Happy" as she sings, "I just want to be f**king happy." Like a person sitting in the therapist's chair, Michaels screams out, "Sometimes I think I kill relationships for art." Her search for inner happiness makes for quite the anthem. Julia has her Linda Perry-4 Non Blondes moment on "Deep," where the pain of it all inspires high-note heartbreak. "Somebody left me feeling empty and somebody ripped me at the seams," she wails.
On the plucky "Apple," Michaels daydreams about the perfect romance in her eyes. Like Eve in the Biblical story, she invites the guy to try her sweet treat. "Bite off an apple right from your fridge / Come here and taste it right off my lips," Julia sings. The ukulele and her enticing lyrics make this song a slice of pop paradise. Former One Direction member Niall Horan features on "What a Time," their reminiscent ballad about better times. They repeatedly exclaim the song's title in complete awe. It's a warm and wonderful memory to end the EP on.
Michaels' first EP Nervous System was a living body of work, so Inner Monologue is the feelings and inner workings of the mind unraveling. Julia's knack for making the personal pop-friendly is spotlighted well. Her follow-up or full production will be a highly-anticipated event.