As a final goodbye to his 2014 Chaos and The Calm era and a welcome to his 2018 sophomore album Electric Light, UK born singer/songwriter James Bay found both a new look and a new sound. Bay carved out a space for his talents as a vocalist and guitarist to be projected more so than we had previously seen on his discography. Electric Light delivered Bay's studio recordings in a manner that matched the energy of the singer's live show, while managing to also incorporate theatrical moments that kept the album from being dense by giving character to its flow. Bay is proving to be a malleable and multifaceted artist, a concept highly supported by his latest release "Peer Pressure," written and performed with singer/songwriter Julia Michaels.
Both Bay and Michaels are well known for using their music to deliver emotional outpours, the kind that make you feel as though you've watched an entire relationship unfold from the early blossoming of romance to the final goodbyes. "Peer Pressure" features a combination of this energy, twice over, tracking through the early innocence of a relationship to the inescapable burn of lusting and thoughts of the other's touch. Michaels soft tone fits together with the grit of Bay's like a puzzle piece as they come together on the chorus, singing, "Put your hands on my body just like you think you know me / Want your heart beating on me, don't leave me hot and lonely." There's a subtle back and forth to their chemistry, marked with chase and longing. While this type of collaboration seen on "Peer Pressure" isn't new to Michaels, it is something relatively fresh to Bay's discography, marking the first few steps in a new and interesting direction for the future of the singer's music.