Michaela Anne Paints a Relationship’s End With Stirring ‘Somebody New’: Exclusive


Michaela Anne dives into the messy part of love in the heartbreaking “Somebody New,” featured on Desert Dove, her upcoming Yep Roc debut (out Sept. 27). The video for the song, which Billboard premieres below today (Aug. 5), was filmed at Nashville’s Layman Drug Company and has the singer-songwriter performing the track live with her band.

A lush arrangement of wavering electric guitar, steady percussion and Anne’s captivating vocals highlight the song. Written by herself, “Somebody New” details a woman realizing she has fallen in love with somebody new while in another relationship. “Sometimes love runs out/ Before you figure it out,” she sings softly.

"Sometimes the heartbreaking, unforgivable, wrong thing happens,” Anne tells Billboard. “Love can be messy, hard, confusing. Who am I with you, who am I without you? Who am I with somebody new? A lot of my songs can be a bit of a mishmash of firsthand experience and made-up stories. This one is interesting to me because it started with me literally just describing what I was doing. I always think of Willie Nelson talking about writing ‘Hello Walls,’ sitting in a garage not knowing what to write and that’s how he began, looking at the wall. Sometimes you just need a nudge and then a whole story comes out that you have to make sense of later.”

One line that holds significance for the singer is “If it’s in the face of another that we love and live.” It was inspired by an exhibit she saw in Oslo, Norway, at The Munch Museum.

“The idea of how art and ourselves is seen is also determined by who and what is around us,” she adds. “I had a few people question this specific line to the point that it was changed in the recording process, but I kept feeling so tied to it that I insisted on going back and re-recording the vocals after the record was done to switch it back."

The stunning “Somebody New” is featured on Anne’s forthcoming new album and follow-up to 2016’s Bright Lights and the Fame. She recorded the project in San Clemente, Calif., with producers Sam Outlaw and Delta Spirit’s Kelly Winrich.

“A lot of the music was inspired by the desert and the west coast, and several of the songs I’d written referenced the state specifically,” she says.

Hear “Somebody New” below.