Anxiety (feat. Selena Gomez)
What a Time (feat. Niall Horan)
On her second solo EP, Julia Michaels dives further into the messy space between logic and love. As one of pop’s most sought-after songwriters (Justin Bieber, Britney Spears, and Gwen Stefani are all clients), she’s well aware that she’s benefitted from her own personal pain. "Sometimes I think I kill relationships for art/I start up all this sh*t to watch them fall apart/I pay my bills with it,” she scream-sings on “Happy,” a raw, skewering song that’s also achingly sad. But Michaels is a master of contradictions, and it’s no accident that the moods of her songs tend to belie their subjects: an angsty flirtation (“Deep”), a driving breakup ballad (“Into You”), an eerily cheery confessional (“Anxiety” feat. Selena Gomez). By tangling clashing emotions together, she captures the profound thing that’s so perplexing about being in love: It’s complicated.