Hit songwriter Julia Michaels is stepping into the spotlight with her debut "mini-album" Nervous System released on July 28. She's penned smashes for pretty much every pop star under the sun like Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber and Britney Spears. On her not-an-EP, not-yet-an-album, Michaels' is a glass case of emotion across 7 tracks. It's an aptly-titled effort that's living, breathing and brimming with personality. For anyone unfamiliar with the 23-year-old, Julia did that.
Michaels teamed up with her songwriting partner-in-crime Justin Tranter to pen the songs on Nervous System. Her wordplay is at its sharpest, especially on lead single "Issues." Backed by stately strings and booming beats, she finds harmony in a rocky relationship. "Yeah I got issues and one of them is how bad I need you," Julia sings. In a world learning to embrace imperfections, "Issues" is a bold and beautiful standout. Michaels has more fun with dysfunction on "Worst in Me," a moody, mid-tempo number. "The best of me wants to love you, but the worst in me doesn't want to," she croons. Julia masterfully navigates her conflicted feelings into song form on "Worst."
With pop music getting stale as of late, Michaels breaks through like a great ball of fire on Nervous System highlight "Uh Huh." The pop-rock romp sees her high-pitched vocals peak as she gives into the heat of the moment. "Uh Huh! I think you're moving into close, but I think it's my body wanting it the most," Julia exclaims. It's a gritty and thrilling offering. Michaels' conversational lyricism is charming on "Pink," a quirky and electric ode to her southern region. "There's no innuendos / It's exactly what you think / Believe me when I tell you he loves the color pink," she whispers. Like a best girlfriend spilling the tea on the night before, Julia divulges her private thoughts on the effort's most playful track.
Michaels rounds out the mini-album with "Don't Wanna Think," a song she wrote and produced herself. Julia pours her heart out over piano and fights the liquored, late night thoughts of texting an ex. "Now I'm not really one for drinking songs, but f**k it here it comes out," she sings. The haunting ballad adds to the level of relatability Michaels' brings to music. Nervous System gives life to Julia Michaels, the pop star, and it's a stimulating start until her full body of work arrives.