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  • Alexa Leung

Review: "DEAD!" - Julianna Joy

You might feel that, sometimes, it’d just be easier, better, and way less of a headache if you were dead. In Julianna Joy’s latest single “DEAD!” Joy combines introspection with a catchy beat, singing about that all-too-common feeling when the ennui and apathy sets in after life’s trials. “DEAD!” is a funky, melancholic song that details a tale of languishing in heartbreak, stress, and anxiety. It’s about that morose feeling you get when everything that’s happened so far washes over you and you just think that you’d be much better off if you were dead, rather than dealing with everything else; simply laying in your bed, overthinking, and being so, so over it.

“DEAD!” combines a layering of synth and percussion (with the occasional ticking and ringing clock) with expert lyricism and vocal talents to create one hauntingly upbeat yet somber song that flows through your headphones like water. While Joy may begin the song and each verse softly, the chorus always comes along with these eclectic highs and lows, bips and bops, that weave throughout the entire song. Here, the chorus is the true star of the show as, when each verse comes to a head, Joy begins to sing “I’m better off dead,” repeating “dead” over and over again until it becomes so cyclical, so constant, that the word nearly loses all meaning. Like its instrumentals, the song’s lyrics are fun yet unfailingly raw– one particularly poignant line describes a phone as a “waiting room,” which evoked such relatable imagery to me, seeing a phone as not an object but a physical place that a person relies on while the the midst of a rough time, waiting for a message, a call. The song has plenty more lyrics that elicit remarkably vivid scenes, and combined with Joy’s masterful lyricism and diverse instrumentals, it is clear to see why “DEAD!” is such a bop.

Julianna Joy describes herself as an “author who happens to have musical abilities.” She’s written music all throughout her teenage years and eventually released her very first single at age 14, entitled “Close Enough.” In February 2020, after spending some time in the summer of 2019 in LA recording her first EP, “Cherries'' was released to great success– one track in particular, “Cherry Bomb,” currently sits at nearly 4 million plays on Spotify to date. Joy’s musical stylings are a mixture of genres that have influenced her over the years: alternative rock, country, and, of course, any and all kinds of pop, but every single song she produces contains straight-from-the-heart lyrical prose accompanied by a silky and ethereal voice; no matter the topic, Joy manages to create music that seems as if placed in a gilded frame: decadent with description and liquid-smooth sounds. Currently, “Garden of Eden” is Joy’s latest album release from February 2022 and “DEAD!” is her newest single of 2023. Joy’s music is personal and dreamy– I cannot wait to see what else she has in store!

Written By Alexa Leung



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