Jake Miller Is A Man

Jake Miller admits to radio host Elvis Duran that he made this entire album himself. He wrote most of 2:00am In LA two steps away from his bed at his microphone and keyboard. A friend helped him drag a bed out to the middle of a street in downtown LA where they took pictures for the album cover. “I wanted to make sure the album didn’t have any pretty boy pictures of me on the cover. I wanted it to be more about the music” he told Duran. “It’s my favorite album cover we’ve ever done.”

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Image via postfontaine.com

2:00am In LA dropped and then climbed the charts immediately. Miller took to Snapchat thanking fans for making it happen. He spent his release day celebrating with family and friends. It’s easy to see; he’s happy. Although this is a breakup album, Miller fills it with every element of the good and the bad. “Sleeping with Strangers” is a reality check about moving on while “Parties” reflects on a new lifestyle after heartbreak.

Curated pop is an easy way to describe this collection. Each track feels carefully thought out and put together; call it a passion project if you will. “Can’t Help Myself”, “Answers”, and “Halfway” are infused with EDM beats; something Miller has been strikingly good at over the years (listen to his 2013 hit “Collide”). “No Return” brings out the R&B Jake that the ladies love. He daintily details a sexual encounter; “you naked in my bed right now, it’s getting so hard to breathe.” Breakup albums seem to be all the rage (Halsey’s recent Hopeless Fountain Kingdom, and Lorde’s, Melodrama), and for some reason, they resonate with the fans.

What makes LA so cool is that we see Jake as a grown man, who’s been broken down and is now built back up and ready for something new/better. Dropping his label, he has now taken complete control over his music and image. Even teaching himself how to produce his own music and piece together what he wanted this album to be. Don’t judge him on his early pop days, instead just soak up and absorb the artist he is today.


 

NMF Picks!

“Still Got Time” – Zayn feat. PARTYNEXTDOOR

Zayn follows in the footsteps of Drake and many others by catching onto the tropical vibe plaguing most pop/r&b lately. “Stop looking for love, girl you’re young you still got time,” creeps out of Zayn’s mouth as the beat pounds on in the background. Worthy of a beach party at sunset. Summer? Is that you?

 

“Wicked” – Mansionz feat. G-Eazy

Mike Posner and Blackbear team up for their new album MANSIONZ with a pop hit ready for the airwaves. A retro beat guides this song into a synth dream about a dangerous woman. “Wicked” opens with Posner’s infamous falsetto crooning, “Keep your distance from her.” Bear’s voice wavers effortlessly throughout each verse.

“Are You Happy” – Bipolar Sunshine

“Tell me, are you happy?” is a question we all need to hear. Sunshine provides an anthemic tune you can’t help but bop your head to. “Happy” makes you feel strong and powerful. A gospel choir adds to the emotional effect of the song. He said on Twitter, “It’s all about elevation and facing fears together…to show people your weaknesses is what makes us human.”

 

“Still Not Over You” – Klyne

Tweaked falsetto takes the lead in this one, making “Over You” a magical electronic force to be reckoned with. Repeating synths line the chorus making you wish you had a disco ball to dance under. Trickles of a keyboard touch the ending undertones of “You” as impressive vocal harmonies infiltrate the ending. Klyne leaves a major impression with this one.

 

“Ascension” – Gorillaz feat. Vince Staples

Just when you thought you had the perfect gym playlist. Gorillaz drop a pure heater with rapper Vince Staples. Accompanied by a rapid fire dance beat and a backup gospel choir, this song is a volcanic eruption of chaos. If you don’t feel like running a marathon while listening, then you’re doing it wrong.


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Fresh EDM Picks

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Image via beatport.com

“Something Just Like This” – The Chainsmokers & Coldplay

Just when you thought they couldn’t get any better. Party boys turned world-wide sensation release a stellar collab with one of music’s greatest bands alive. The formula is simple; transparent lyrics, soaring vocals, and a drop you can bop to. That’s it. “Like This” will easily climb the charts making the Chainsmokers one of the best EDM duo’s of all time.

 

“Stay (with Alessia Cara)” – Zedd

Cara’s vocals are easily some of the most unique in pop music today. Add in Zedd’s gift for mixing and the result is epic. Just as catchy as any Zedd song is, a female lead always tugs you in (“Clarity”, “Stay the Night”). Cara strongly sings, “All you have to do is stay, a minute, just take your time.” 

 

“In The Arms Of A Stranger (Grey Remix)” – Mike Posner

His child-like voice follows a guitar strumming repeated chords as a subtle drop highlights the “woo”-filled chorus. The song is a beautiful sentiment bringing to light the memories of past love and the attempts to move on; “In the arms of a stranger, pretending its love, holding her closely, remember your touch.”

 

“It Ain’t Me (with Selena Gomez)” – Kygo

Kygo can do no wrong. It’s a fact. He has the tropical beats we all want playing on our spring breaks and summer vacations. “It Ain’t Me” is no different. Gomez sings the verses up and down in classic pop fashion. Choppy lyrics pluck through the chorus, something Kygo does best (listen to “Stay” off his debut album, Cloud Nine.)

 

“Slide” – Calvin Harris, Frank Ocean, and Migos

70’s dance party meets summer pop; Harris is back in full force. Merging some R&B licks from Frank Ocean with light rap verses from Migos, the two blend together seamlessly. A steady vintage beat keeps the song flowing, making you wish for a dance floor under your feet and a glass of champagne in your hands.

 


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