Spaceman (Deluxe)

Nick Jonas

Spaceman (Deluxe)

“What’s the one thing that all of us have felt during this time?” Nick Jonas tells Apple Music, reflecting on the year spent in lockdown. “It’s just completely isolated and disconnected from the world. I wanted to turn our collective isolation into something that could connect us,” he says. Unlike his past projects—each an increasingly steamy blend of soul, funk, and R&B—Spaceman is more pop-oriented and sentimental. On top of the global lockdown, Jonas’ wife Priyanka Chopra spent much of 2020 filming a movie abroad. “I missed my person,” he says. “Most of the songs are just love letters. When I can't articulate the way I feel with words, I go to the studio.” Producer Greg Kurstin (Adele, Beck) helped him channel the atmospherics of ’80s radio. “I wanted to tap into a few of my influences that I hadn't before,” Jonas says, citing the commercial hits of boomers like Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, and Steve Winwood. On Spaceman, he turns their signatures—lush synths, padded drums, sax solos, and sticky hooks—into sleek, clear-eyed, contemporary love songs. Read on for the backstory behind each one.
Don't Give Up on Us “This was the first song we wrote, and it was an immediate feeling. Emotionally, it stemmed from being away from my wife—those moments when you’re reassuring your person that you're in it for the long haul, and that no matter what happens, there are better days ahead. Musically, Greg [Kurstin] helped me channel a number of my influences, using this heartbeat and a beautiful, ethereal melody, to create what felt like a new sound. It got us excited to go further.”
Heights “‘Heights’ came later, after I'd established these four themes for the album: distance, indulgence, euphoria, and commitment. I wanted to create a journey for the listener where one song would go right into the next seamlessly. ‘Don't Give Up on Us’ and ‘Spaceman’ were already written, so I wanted one more song in this block that talked about the leap of faith everyone takes when they dive into a relationship.”
Spaceman “I was really inspired by David Bowie, and I’ve always loved ‘Rocket Man’ by Elton John. I always wanted to do something that had that feeling, but in a new way. When I came into the studio, I had the title already written, as well as the last piece of the song, which is the outro that says, ‘Don't want to be alone/Don't want to be/I don't want to be out on my own.’ To fill in the rest, I just thought about what I was going through: I was away from my person, there was this crazy election, we’d all been wearing masks for almost a year. I wanted to speak about that in a poetic way.”
2Drunk “This is something I feel like a lot of us have experienced this year. I wanted to sing about it without getting too serious or heavy, you know? To speak to the mundane Groundhog Day feeling this past year has had. Because definitely some drinking has taken place.”
Delicious “This song is directly influenced by Huey Lewis & The News and Peter Gabriel. It has that classic ’80s feel, especially with the horns. One of the cool things about this album is that there were certain limitations we had because of COVID, whether it was doing sessions over Zoom or having to keep bodies in the studio to a minimum. And Greg worked very, very hard to make all these digital instruments sound totally real. I don’t think anyone would know that they’re not actually listening to a full horn section but instead, it’s Greg playing horns on keyboard. So hats off to him.”
This Is Heaven “This might be my favorite track on the album. It’s about my personal experience with faith and religion. I believe in a lot of things, and one of the things I believe is that love is a high, important power that connects us all. When you're in that state of euphoria and connection with your person, it should feel like heaven. I wanted to write a song that embodied that. Also, naturally, heaven would have sax solos.”
Sexual “This song was originally called ‘Glow,’ but after my wife heard the album she kept referring to it as ‘Sexual.’ I was like, ‘I don't know what you're talking about.’ She felt strongly that it should be called ‘Sexual,’ so at the very last minute I changed the title. Obviously I think she was right. The thing I like about this record is that it feels like the connective tissue between my last solo album, which was more R&B and soul-inspired, and this solo album, which is more ’80s pop. It’s the bridge.”
Deeper Love “I love this song’s big, soaring chorus and how unapologetically romantic it is. It has that ’80s feel to it. It’s an anthem. Hope is a major theme throughout this album, but this song brings it home.”
If I Fall “I view this track as the bridge between my Jonas Brothers stuff and my solo stuff. My brother Joe even called that out. He was like, ‘I feel like this one could have gone either way, but it's awesome that it's on this album because it shows that it can all coexist in one big, happy, creative family.’ That was just a great thing to hear. Lyrically, I love the message in the song. One of the things about Hindu weddings is that you commit to seven lifetimes together during the ceremony. I've touched on this idea a few times in songs I've written because I just think it's such a beautiful idea. You’re committing not just to this lifetime, but the next, and the next, and the next.”
Death Do Us Part “This song definitely leans a little more Frank Ocean or Drake, but the message is very clearly an extension of the previous song. Again, I really wanted that seamless, flowing feeling. We cut the track off abruptly at the end to signify that there's never really an end to that journey. I wanted it to feel like it’d go on forever if we hadn't stepped in.”
Nervous “As we were winding down to the last few songs, I wanted a pure love song. Something that I could hear artists like Dan + Shay doing, but produced in a way that matched the rest of this album. I think the message is beautiful. One of my favorite movies is Up because I love the relationship between the couple—the wonder and nervousness in his eyes even as they're years into their relationship. I want that to be how I am throughout my whole life.”

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