There's often a misconception about Nashville. To the outside world, casual music fans probably think Music City is the petri dish of country, folk and American music--and nothing else. But avid fans will be aware of the city's rich pop and rock history; from the likes of Kings of Leon to grunge-pop enchantress Kesha, every stylistic flourish and depth has bubbled up from hard-working musicians and songwriters, defying genre barriers and making exactly the kind of music they were destined to make. That's certainly the case for pop upstart Annalia, who issues her groove-based and bold debut single "Jealous," an icy but feverish slow-jam. Co-written with Michael McQuaid and produced by Jon Santana (known for his work with CAPPA and Truitt, as well as remixing such acts as Banks, Phoenix and ODESZA), the track is smooth to the touch but with plenty of bite. "I'm not your mama but I could have taught you better," she hisses on the opening lyric.
"Oh, honey, you say you're not jealous of me, don't you, don't you, oh, honey, it's crazy," she continues. "Your eyes are turning green."
Not to be confused with the Nick Jonas hit of the same name, Annalia's take on the universal theme of envy is stronger, stemming from the perspective of a resolute, independent woman. "You want to be like me. Push me around this town and keep on knocking me down. Could have been friends, but now we're not," she later recollects. The production mixes house and R&B tendencies, built from the ground up into a brick wall of textures and force. Annalia's vocal is straightforward, layered and distinct. She later pounds on the chorus (and she doesn't hold anything back), "Shades on, keepin' it dark, push me around like you own the party. Ice cold, spillin' your words, makin' it worse like Gin & Bacardi. Think you're a star. You sure play the part. Tryna be like me..."
On the message of the song, Annalia says, "'Jealous' is an ode to the drama queens. People can be cruel when they feel intimidated by one another. This song is an anthem for those who are being cut down to know they're not alone."
"Jealous," which samples her forthcoming, yet-untitled, debut project, is out now on iTunes.
Take a listen below:
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