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  • Kaitlyn Nicole

Album Review: "James" - SANNIA



The highly anticipated debut album of the Australian Singer/Songwriter, Female Producer and former finalist of The Voice Australia from Melbourne, Jackie Sannia is finally here. Now known as SANNIA, Jackie was a vocalist loved by many in her home country 10 years ago when she was a teenager participating on the highly popular singing competition show. However, it was only 5 years ago that she officially began her career as an independent artist and really broke into the pop music scene. She released her first single, "Go and Get Over" in 2018 and has been unstoppable since. SANNIA's brand new debut album, "James" has been in the making for the past 5 years and it's finally out for the world to hear. Including recent singles such as "Travelling", "Trigger", and "August", this album is about the long journey of healing from a toxic relationship. Written about her own personal experiences, SANNIA took a step out of her comfort zone to share her story about the man she used to love, who broke her down and didn't make her feel worthy of love. Throughout the songs on this album, we get it witness the long and difficult process that SANNIA had gone through to love herself again and break free from the chains that "James" had put on her.



TRACKLIST:


Love You Like


For the opening track, we have "Love You Like" which is about being addicted to a person as if they were a drug. Even though SANNIA knows this person is bad for her, she craves for him to be in her life. In the lyrics she describes going through all the horrible symptoms of withdraw, like the booming headache and body aches. She calls him up just to get the tiniest fix, even if he still doesn't want anything to do with her. This is a very strong scenario that many can relate to; losing someone you love so much and have been with for so long because somewhere along the way, they stopped feeling the same. It's a very blind sighted feeling and having to stop a relationship cold-turkey is not an easy thing to go through. You have to literally rehabilitate yourself into learning how to live on your own again. This song has a slow build, but by the end, you find yourself caught in a sonically ethereal experience.


August


"August" is a sad-girl BOP of a pop song about reminiscing on the good times you had with a past love who you still think about often - particularly your first true love that you had in life. The one you thought you'd spend forever with, and that you'd be the fairytale story that everyone wishes for. It's all the words you wish you could say to them now after years of being apart. SANNIA describes the song as a "love letter to your teenage flame". This nostalgically catchy and upbeat single is going on my list for one of the most underrated pop songs of the year. It's incredibly written and produced, and it has an infectious melody that you won't be able to shake from your head.

We wrote a full article just focusing on "August" which you can read here!


Stuck In Your Orbit


Considered the focus track of the album, we have "Stuck In Your Orbit" which has an official music video you can watch below! This song is about feeling like the person you're with is out of your league. They perceive themselves as too good for you and that you're lucky to be with them, and you unfortunately are made to feel like that is true. Being brainwashed in such a way makes you feel like you can't live without them, even if they don't give you as much love and affection as you give them. You're chasing after a kind of love that you'll never have with a person like that. They look down on you, as if you're just one little star in their galaxy; but gravity refuses to let you leave. SANNIA writes of how she wished she could love herself more in order to stop loving him, to break free from this strong grasp he had on her. Although the topic is an emotional one, the song itself is pretty upbeat and has a catchy synthpop groove.



Trigger


"Trigger" was SANNIA's second single of this year about the aftermath that comes from a sudden break-up, which feels like getting shot in the back but you're just too in shock to let the pain take full effect. . Losing someone you love out of nowhere with no warning is so damaging to a person. You find yourself stuck in this purgatory where you try to pick up the pieces of an uncleanable mess. Co-produced with The Temper Trap's Toby Dundas, the song features lots of gun sound effects (like the loading of a gun, the safety switch turning off, and the trigger being pulled) and is purposely made to feel cold and mechanical to give "pulling the trigger" a musical sound. This song is a bit heavier than other tracks on this album; with a rock guitar and strong, soulful vocals, it takes SANNIA's sound to the next level.


Don't You Know? (feat. LANKS)


Track five is a collaboration piece with artist, multi-instrumentalist and producer, LANKS who is from Australia but is now based in Brooklyn, New York. This particular song is more focused on the soundscape than the lyrics, like the rest of the album. Featuring vocals from both SANNIA and LANKS, this song is sonically mesmerizing. From the guitar riff, to the harmonies, to the groovy beat... this song's production quality is high-end. The style has a bit of funk and soul to it, especially in the vocals during the chorus which gives the progression that little bit of "umph" it needed to amp up the emotion. It's a great fit for the sound and topic on this album. LANKS and SANNIA have great creative chemistry and it really shines through in this track.


Doubts


"Doubts" is about that moment you realize that your relationship isn't as happy as it used to be. You're fighting more, the spark is starting to fade, and even though you still love them you're not sure it's gonna work out in the long run the way you thought it would. The longer you're with a person, the more you start to see their true colors; and sometimes those colors aren't so pretty. With a minimalistic soundscape featuring synths and beats, the song eventually progresses into a big, dynamically emotional climax. SANNIA gives us all of her emotion through her voice and lyrics. It's one of those type of songs where you can close your eyes, listen, and be able to put yourself in her shoes.



The Good Ones


Fair Warning - this song hurts. I was not ready for this sad girl ballad when I first pressed play. "The Good Ones" is about that moment you realize the one you fell in love with, wasn't as good of a person as you thought they were. You're kind of mad at yourself for being fooled because you honestly thought they were going to be different than the rest. This song is primarily keys and a beat, because the main focus here are the lyrics. The lyrics in this song will punch you in the face. They're so incredibly written, and very relatable to many. Not to mention SANNIA's vocal style here is just extraordinary. It's a little bit reminiscent of Lana Del Rey, but with more soulfulness. The emotion that was put into this track is just so strong, that even if you've never experienced a relationship like this, you're going to feel that sharp pain in your chest once you hear it.


Travelling (feat. Jason Rodi)


"Travelling" was SANNIA's first single of this year, and the first song to start building the hype of her album release. Produced by ARIA nominated producers, Andy Mak and Jason Barclay, as well as Colin Leadbetter and Hayden Lauerson, this synth-pop bop is about knowing a relationship might not work out in the long road, but instead of letting go you just stay quiet and stay along for the ride until it crashes and burns in flames. The focus moment in this song is the outro, which is a guitar solo performed by SANNIA's current partner-in-crime, Jason Rodi. It's such an important highlight in this song because it was all improvisation; straight from the heart and soul. To quote SANNIA, "We set the chord progression to loop, gave him a beer or two and let him fly and what came out had all of our jaws on the ground."


Salvation


"Salvation" is about exactly what it's titled - preserving yourself from further harm; moving forward with dignity, strength pride so that nothing can hurt you anymore. This track gave me absolute chills. It's one of those songs where you feel like you're being taken to church. It has a very spiritual soundscape and experience between the heavy beat, the hauntingly religious humming and harmonies and SANNIA's iconic soulful voice. It's sonically one of my personal favorites on this album and has an out-of-this-world production quality. It's a very empowering song; a reminder that no matter how much you've been through, you can always rise from the ashes.


Awake


Accompanied with SANNIA's most recent music video is "Awake". This track is about staying in a toxic relationship with rose colored glasses on, until one day you finally take the glasses off and see everything as it is. You knew things weren't going well for a long time, but there was something that made you feel like you had to stay - until now. "Awake" is an alt. pop song at heart, and has a really unique groove that sets itself apart from the rest of the tracks on this album. It's synth-based but with an electronic beat that is unpredictable. Make sure to watch the music video below for a glowing red experience that is a great visual pairing for this song.



Daylight


"Daylight" is a single that SANNIA had came out with (also with a music video) four years ago! "Daylight" is pop perfection with lyricism that'll tug at your heart-strings. This song really puts the whole album into perspective. It connects to other songs and brings the story all together. Within the music video, we see SANNIA emerging from a car crash during sunset. She's in the passenger seat, and the driver is nowhere to be found. It's the moment she had been anticipating with "Travelling"; It's the emotional shock she described in "Trigger"; it's all the words running through her head that she spilt her heart out with in "August". It's the sum of everything we've heard on the album so far. It's such a genius way to bring everything together, and to have a visual representation of this story just really makes things even more emotional.



Lay Your Heart Down


"Lay Your Heart Down" is a beautifully tragic pop ballad about unrequited love. When you've given someone your all and it wasn't enough, it really impacts how you feel about yourself (even though it's really not your fault). He tells you he just doesn't feel the same, and it has nothing to do with you (you know, the classic it's not you, it's me crap) - but you feel like he hasn't opened up enough to give your relationship a chance. This song has a gorgeous melody and an emotional build like no other. The vocals during the climax of this song are going to blow you away, and the chorus will get stuck in your head for days. It's a gorgeously emotional track for all the sad girls out there.


Go and Get Over (James Version)


"Go and Get Over" was SANNIA's debut single back in 2018. It was an upbeat, soul-pop banger, kind of reminiscent to the style of Adele's "Rolling In The Deep". This track however, is the James Version. It's an extended, more stripped down and more emotional rendition of the song - which in my opinion, brought this song up to a whole new level. With some RnB elements in there, this song has my favorite melody and vocals on the album. "Go and Get Over (James Version)" is about those gaslighting types of relationships where they can't give you a minute of their attention, but when you bring up how you feel, they will just say "everything is fine". It's an endless, torturous cycle until one day they're gone and you're left to fend for yourself while you're not even a thought in their mind anymore. Ending it with where it all started, this is the perfect closing track for this album.



"James", SANNIA's debut album, absolutely blew me away. Primarily combining soul-pop and synthpop, as well as other hints of styles throughout, SANNIA has a beautiful and unique style that you don't hear from many other artists today. Her lyricism comes from a very vulnerable place; it's raw, emotional and so real. The story of James is something that many out there can resonate with. It's a great album to listen to from start to finish with no skips, because everything perfectly adds up when you hear every song. SANNIA is a force to be reckoned with, and it may have taken five years but this album was well worth the wait. SANNIA has been on my radar for quite some time now, and she has a few incredible tracks that didn't make it on this album such as "Sad Rich Girls", and "Better". So if you loved this album, I highly recommend listening to those too. Also make sure to follow SANNIA below to see what's yet to come!


Written By Kaitlyn Nicole


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*Sponsored Post - Discovered on SubmitHub. A contribution was made to help create this article as part of a promotional campaign.

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