An Intimate Glimpse Inside the Musician’s Unique Mind
By: Brielle Sparacino
Bea Miller is making waves in the music industry.
From auditioning for The X Factor USA in 2012 at 13 years old to just recently releasing her second LP, Aurora, Miller has accomplished quite a lot for a 19 year old.
Although the songstress placed ninth on season two of the music competition television show, that didn’t discourage her from making music in the slightest.
After debuting her first EP in 2014 and her first full-length album in 2015, Miller took a bit of a break for a couple of years and came back in full force in 2017, when she premiered three EP’s, titled Chapter One: Blue, Chapter Two: Red, and Chapter Three: Yellow, respectively.
Miller is a synesthete, meaning she can see music in color. According to an article on Buzzfeed recapping the singer’s visit to the Elvis Duran Show in NYC last August, “…the colors [for each EP] we[re] chosen based on moods and emotions, rather than just choosing them because they’re primary colors.”
Originally thinking of the name Spectrum for her album (being that red, yellow and blue are primary colors which can be mixed together to become any color on the spectrum), she ended up going with Aurora as her final choice.
Aurora is a concept album, meaning that its purpose is to take the listener on a journey that the artist created for them, and the LP is comprised of all three chapters of Miller’s 2017 EP’s as well as five new tracks.
If you hadn’t listened to chapters one through three before hearing the sophomore album, that’s totally okay, because this LP wraps everything up for you in a sassy little bow and takes you through every emotion, starting with blue.
The first song on aurora is “song like you” (from Chapter One: Blue), which speaks to someone Miller knows is bad for her but hasn’t quite been able to stay away from. Miller provided commentary on the track on genius.com: “I had somebody in my life who wasn’t good for me. I was constantly torn between needing to move on and not being able to accept that I needed to move on… I feel like “song like you” is not only the beginning of this release, but the beginning of this entire story—this entire part of my life.”
Chapter One: Blue in Aurora continues on through “burning bridges,” a track that Miller says is “the anger that you feel once you’ve been with somebody for too long and you feel betrayed by the realization that they haven’t been doing anything positive for you,” “motherlove,” one of the new tracks which brings a defiant and angsty vibe, and ends with “i can’t breathe,” where Miller feels suffocated, vulnerable and defeated.
Chapter Two: Red in Aurora is symbolic of Miller’s more rebellious side; the singer is still angry but also begins to feel empowered. Although the original EP only had three tracks, Aurora includes three additional tracks between the first and last songs of this chapter.
In “like that,” Miller is fed up. The song itself sounds like a ticking time bomb, and it’s only a matter of time before Miller completely comes out of her shell of self-pity.
“Buy me diamonds” follows close behind, and in this track, Miller is clearly done with the drama her lover has put her through; now, she wants something tangible and expensive.
“Outside” is a track that’s a break in Chapter Two’s presumed theme and shines a light on the anxiety and isolation Miller tends to feel; the kind where you don’t want to go anywhere or hear from anyone.
“Girlfriend” and “bored” are tracks that are contradictions of each other.
In “girlfriend,” Miller is turning the tables and defying the gender stereotypes of typical male behavior when she says “I don’t wanna be your girlfriend, I just wanna play with your head.” In “bored,” she’s hinting for her partner to take the next step in their relationship on an emotional level because she’s tired of it being purely physical.
“Warmer” signifies the end of Chapter Two and is a track that does, in fact, feel emotionally warmer. From every aspect of production, this song shines, and the song’s concept of testing the waters with someone even though there is so much uncertainty is reminiscent of ice thawing and the sun peeking unapologetically through the clouds.
“Repercussions” is the beginning of Chapter Three: Yellow. On this track, Miller is finally ready to change things up and live the way she’s wanted to.
“S.L.U.T.” is the track that follows, and Miller makes this song all about loving who you are, calling herself a “sweet little unforgettable thing.”
“Crash&burn” featuring O’neill Hudson is another one of the new tracks Miller added to her album, and it describes the feelings of security and content when you know your feelings toward someone else are reciprocated.
The final track on the LP and on Chapter Three: Yellow is “to the grave,” featuring Mike Stud.
This song screams finality, but it also feels like a new beginning; Miller is ready to give up on being silent and ready to stop keeping all of the negativity inside her. She’s ready to start living as a lighter and more honest version of herself.
All in all, Aurora is an album that can appeal to anyone, regardless of genre preference. Miller injects herself into the writing process of every song on the album, and seemingly takes great care to thoughtfully and clearly project her emotions in each record.
She truly takes the listener through her personal growth; from darkness to light, from blue to red to yellow. For a 19-year-old, she does a pretty damn good job.