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  • Lauren Nolan

Review: "Nightmare" - Jane Bell

Juxtaposing a catchy dance hook with darker lyrics has been a tradition in house and pop music for ages. From Robyn's "Dancing On My Own" to Lady Gaga's "Just Dance," the contrast creates a dynamic listening experience. These songs are effortlessly fun yet emotionally resonant when paid closer attention to. In her newest single, "Nightmare," singer-songwriter Jane Bell follows in the footsteps of these tracks before her. "Nightmare" tells the all-too-relatable story of being unable to move on from an ex and the range of emotions that follow. Bell explores the disillusionment of losing someone who felt like the one. She croons lines like, "You were my future, this can't be the end." Everywhere she goes, she feels this missing presence. Always hearing their voice or seeing their face, she cannot stop thinking about what could have been, as the echoey refrain asks, "Are you somewhere in the crowd?" She feels haunted, and the song mirrors this sonically.

"Nightmare" is a moody blend of pop and house. The track's best quality is its ability to capture a strong visual atmosphere. Its thumping beat and high-pitched EDM-inspired background vocals complement Bell's soft, hazy performance to create a singular narrative. The song sounds like she is searching for this ex in a packed, loud nightclub, making the chorus' "Are you somewhere in the crowd?" feel like a scene straight from a movie. "Nightmare" is an intricate track. For instance, the line "There's nowhere to run" is punctuated with several vocal layers of "run" to add to its eerieness. It's details like these that make the song come alive. Bell manages to balance a dark aesthetic with vibrant pop elements.

In her Instagram and Spotify descriptions, Jane Bell describes how "Pop is dying. I'm the medic." This love of classic upbeat pop music translates throughout her discography. "Nightmare" is Bell's fourth released single, following previous releases, "REM," "Where Did You Go?," and "Dusk 'Til Dawn." Her songs all have a club music sound that is sonically reminiscent of early Lady Gaga and Madonna's "Vogue." Catchiness, danceability, and fast, pumping beats are at the forefront of these pop-house fusions. Keep an eye out for her upcoming releases on Bell’s social media accounts linked below. “Nightmare" is available to stream now.

Written By Lauren Nolan



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