Here’s what I think. I think I’m obsessed with Inner Monologue Part 1 and if Part 2 is anything like it, then it might be my favorite record this year, and it’s only April.
If the name Julia Michaels doesn’t already sound familiar to you, then I’d bet almost anything that “Sorry” by Justin Bieber does. How about “Miss Movin’ On” by Fifth Harmony? If we’re all fans of Ed Sheeran here, then you’ve heard of “Dive” too, so I’d like to introduce to you the brilliant mind behind all this poetry, your California native – Julia Michaels. Here’s a great video to meet her by.
She’s been writing songs forever. Forever, like since she was sixteen, and has navigated the Los Angeles pop music circuit for the longest time. She’s written a bunch of hits for artists like Nick Jonas, Keith Urban, and Rita Ora. It wasn’t until 2017 did she start making and putting out music of her own, and I am just so grateful she did.
My journey with discovering Julia’s music is kind of an ironic one. I moved to live in Northridge, California last summer, a little north of Los Angeles, which is – I later find out – super close by to where she grew up. I came across a song called “Jump” one day and loved her voice. Dove in and found her first EP which is titled Nervous System and is incredible. It defined my whole summer honestly. It was the time where I was discovering new work and how I wanted to spend my time, and suddenly here was Julia Michaels’ music right in front of me, and I was inspired.
I realized rather quickly – and still think to this day – that this girl comes up with some of the best hooks in pop music. When were you not able to keep “I know, I know that I let you down. Is it too late to say ‘Sorry’ now?” out of your head, whether you liked it or not? Her latest release is a song with James Bay called “Peer Pressure,” and it has this gorgeous chorus that will just not leave my brain. It’s been on a loop in my head for the past twelve hours. I can’t get it out. I think she’s too good. She’s this amazing, open, vulnerable, honest writer – I would dare to even say the most open and honest in pop music today – and if both Nervous System and Inner Monologue, don’t already prove that, then I’m about to.
Her music has fueled me a lot creatively and emotionally. Just to see her on her own jumping from genre to genre and injecting her poetic brilliance into every place she lands with every artist she works with from all different spaces of the music world is awesome to me. The honesty in her lyrics has also helped me accept myself for who I am. She isn’t afraid to say how she feels even when everything is going horribly wrong. She doesn’t sugar coat the hard parts of love. She doesn’t shy away from admitting her faults or stating her flaws, and that makes her writing and song telling more real to me. The fact that she tells the truth has helped me accept mine.
Here are the Julia Michaels lyrics that I absolutely love.
FROM NERVOUS SYSTEM
Make It Up To You
“I could apologize but that’s not my style. I could just write it out, but that takes some time, so let me communicate the only way that I know .. I wish I could be that tender stable girl that you want, but I’m not.”
It’s so honest. The average person would never ever confess that out loud. It’s true for a lot of us though, and here we are. This is one of my favorite live videos of Julia performing songs off Nervous System and this is one of my favorite songs of hers ever. I’m also really in love with the “However, whenever, whatever you want me to.” Good luck getting that out of your head.
Just Do It
“I know it hasn’t been easy, but is it cause for us giving it up?”
It’s just way too catchy. I love the way her voice just keeps the song moving forward as it layers upon her own harmonies. I play this in the car really loudly.
Don’t Wanna Think
“Now I’m not really one for drinking songs but I guess that I should probably write one cause I’m feeling pretty lonely. It’s the only thing that holds me right now.”
The idea of I don’t really feel like doing this, but I probably should … I probably should write because it’s the only thing that’s keeping me together right now … Yeah. Yeah, that.
The outro to this song is also so brilliant.
FROM INNER MONOLOGUE PART 1
Anxiety (with Selena Gomez)
“I got all these thoughts running through my mind all the damn time, and I can’t seem to shut it off.”
Story of my entire life. I’m really glad they made this song. Just really makes it feel like you’re not alone. Everyone putting their hands up, and you know you’re not the only one, and that’s awesome.
“I thought about moving to a different state, a different country. Yeah, maybe that’d be better.”
If I said I don’t feel this sentence in my bones, I’d be lying.
“Sometimes I think I kill relationships for art.”
Truth. An honest poet.
My favorite line is the whole song. Bridge especially. The first time I heard this I thought, “How Elton John of her,” and the more I listen to it, the more I love it. This is my favorite Julia Michaels song!! Hands down.
This song is insane! I love it to pieces!! The verses are so unexpected, but soo good. “Can I have you in doses?” is such a brilliant lyric. I’m actually so jealous. “Spill your emotions into my hands.” She’s so good.
What A Time (feat. Niall Horan)
“I wonder if my mind just leaves out all the bad parts.”
When she turns the last chorus into “What a lie,” that’s some profound stuff. What a song.
I genuinely love her so much. It’s hard to write a song – a song that’s good and honest and truthful because you gotta rip your heart open, expose it, look at it, and then you can write stuff about it, but to give all that to other artists to sing? I don’t know. That’s just so crazy. I have so much respect for her being able to do that.
I had the honor of seeing Julia perform live in Los Angeles a few nights ago. She started singing her song “I Miss You,” and I was shaking sitting in the seats trying to sing along with her as I watched her on stage. It meant a lot to me to see her, and to see her finally performing and doing her own songs. She’s been really open about how it’s taken a lot for her to get up and perform her own stuff in front of people, and I just felt so proud and so so happy watching her out there. I felt like crying.
I promise I’ve never met Julia Michaels. I do not work for her or her publicist or her label, and I am not speaking on behalf of her own marketing in any way. I literally just write this stuff for free because I love her so much and I want to spread there art. Catch her on The Inner Monologue Tour in a city near you this spring!
Deep by Julia Michaels 2019