One Day Early! Stream Julia Michaels ‘Inner Monologue Part 1’ EP

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Julia Michaels was so excited about her contribution to this week’s New Music Friday that she decided to drop it today (January 24). “You guys.. I’m so excited for inner monologue,” she announced on social media last night. “SO excited in fact.. that I’m releasing it a day early.” A follow-up to 2017’s Nervous System, Inner Monologue Part 1 offers another glimpse into the songwriter-turned-superstar’s inner workings. It also features some superstar collaborations. The 6-track collection is bookended by a pair of must-hear duets. The opener – “Anxiety” – features vocals from longtime collaborator Selena Gomez. On it, they offer a frank glimpse into their battles with anxiety and depression.

“Feel like I’m always apologizing for feeling like I’m out of my mind when I’m doing just fine,” they earnestly sing in turn over strings. “All my friends, they don’t know what it’s like. What it’s like. They don’t understand why I can’t sleep through the night.” Selena opened up about the duet in a heartfelt post on Instagram. “My sweet soul sister. Julia you have been a huge part of my life. You have taught me how to have courage when I have self doubt,” she wrote. “This song is extremely close to my heart as I’ve experienced anxiety and know a lot of my friends do too. You’re never alone if you feel this way. The message is much needed and I really hope you guys like it!”

Meanwhile, a duet with Niall Horan on “What A Time” closes things out. Here, the duo mourns the end of a relationship. However, instead of moving on, they embrace the sweet memories of their time together. “I think of the night in the park. It was getting dark, and we stayed up for hours,” they coo in harmony. “What a time, what a time, what a time for you and I.” Unsurprisingly, the rest of the EP is just as strong. Heartbreak supplies inspiration for a good deal of the material. “Into You” details the difficulties of sharing friends with an ex. “So many birthdays that I missed,” she chants. “So I don’t run right into you.” One small catch: it turns out that running into said ex is exactly what she wants to do.

Next up is “Happy,” an ode to her tendency to self-sabotage chances at love. “And sometimes I think I kill relationships for art. I start up all this shit to watch ’em fall apart. I pay my bills with it,” she realizes. But here’s another twist: “I just wanna be fucking happy.” Luckily, happiness becomes achievable on “Deep.” This one sees the hitmaker losing herself in the rush of feelings for a new partner. “Somebody left me feeling empty. And somebody ripped me at the seams. But you’re brining back all my feelings,” she admits. It’s a tribute to the heart’s resilience and the healing powers of love.

That leaves us with “Apple,” a dreamy stream of conscious about the “Issues” siren’s deepest desires with a lover. This one is a personal favorite that resonates with warmth and sweet vibes. “I’d rather be kissing in summer, somewhere in your apartment on the weekends,” she coos about a lusty escape from reality over an atmospheric production. Once again, Julia Michaels has delivered an instantly relatable body of work that is filled to bursting with potential hits. There’s no shortage of quality material here. The only challenge is picking a favorite song in the mix. Stream Inner Monologue Part 1 in full below and see if one emerges as a frontrunner!

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