Single Review: James Bay & Julia Michaels – Peer Pressure

james bay julia michaels peer pressure

James Bay and Julia Michaels join forces on new single
James Bay made a comeback last year with a new sound and image on his sophomore record Electric Light with the brilliant singles ‘Wild Love’ and ‘Pink Lemonade‘. Commercially it might not have been as successful as his debut, but it did land him a spot in A Bit of Pop Music‘s top 20 albums of 2018! The British singer-songwriter is quick to move on though, as he already releases a new single that was not part of said album. He drops a brand new tune titled ‘Peer Pressure’  and it is a duet with the one and only Julia Michaels.

Singer-songwriter Michaels has done heaps of collaborations in the past few years, most notably with Clean Bandit, Lauv, Niall Horan and Selena Gomez. Sound wise, ‘Peer Pressure’ is definitely more of a James Bay featuring Julia Michaels affair than a pure duet. At the same time it is more reminiscent of the style on his debut than his recent work. ‘Peer Pressure’ is a well-written piece of singer-songwriter pop with a slow burning build up and a satisfying climax. The track perfectly showcases the different sides of Bay’s gorgeous vocals: we hear the more raw ad libs in the chorus, while he shows off the higher register in the verses and bridge. Lyrically, the track is all about not being able to resist a love interest. “I usually don’t give into peer pressure, but I’ll give into yours”, the two belt out. ‘Peer Pressure’ is a beautiful song with hit potential that might bring the potentially alienated fans of James Bay’s earlier work back on board.

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