Song of the Day: “Dopamine” by Julietta

Julietta
Julietta (Photo by Kevin Drelon)

Julietta’s Levitate EP is the sound of passing through. It’s the story of a singer who found herself transplanted from the East Coast to the West, going through the ringer and joys of LA all at once.

Emblematic of the new EP is its lead single, “Dopamine.”

Julietta has been through the eye of the needle. What pleasures she may have derived from the depravity on hand, she’s emerged more focused on being comfortable within her own head. The music here isn’t always gentle — it all but throbs with life — it’s focused, forceful in the best of possible ways. It speaks to a creator who has climbed the peaks and combed the valleys, only to realize the view can be just as good right where you’re at. We all deal with that pressing feeling: the drive to do more, go out, be more, to win, to defeat. With a focused electropop salvo Julietta is asking us, reminding us, to simply stay put for a moment. It’s music that demands to be heard, to have time spent within it, before we inevitably rush on, ever forward. Julietta puts it best herself: “[It’s] that feeling when you wake up everyday with anxiety telling you ‘go go go’ but you have nowhere to go. Life just wants you to stay put and be patient.”

The EP’s lead single “Dopamine” lopes almost casually into view, coy and dismissively playful with low key strumming that brings Good News era Modest Mouse to mind, belying Julietta’s breathy, seductive vocals. Then it implodes. It bursts into a dance-floor ready concoction of synths and head-bumping bass: Julietta needs to feel it all, everything, right now. It may represent a past the artist has left behind — “I chased this spike of dopamine for a long time, this song is a glamorized version of addiction. Now, I’m embracing stillness instead,” she explains — but it couldn’t feel more present, it’s in your face, it’s tugging at your sleeve, pulling you with a nearly invisible force to a dance floor just out of reach.

Stream “Dopamine” by Julietta on Spotify:

Worlds away from the thumping omnipresence of “Dopamine,” “Fall Apart” is a gentle companion. You’ve already been out, had the night of your life (for this week anyway), now you have the counterpart to sway back and forth to, to furtively dance alone in your room with, to lean back against your closed door smiling like an idiot with, just unleashing a bit more of that excitement out before you fall into bed. Things may have gotten a bit out of hand, but that’s ok, that’s where half the fun comes from. You aren’t in control after, and “Fall Apart” is the perfect song of surrender. With echoing, endlessly (if just subtly enough) layered vocals cocooning the listener in a serenade of feels, keys, and delicate strings, herein lies the beauty of the moment.

Visit Julietta on Instagram for more music.

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