‎Diamonds & Dancefloors by Ava Max on Apple Music

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    At first of her profession, Albanian American pop superstar Ava Max was best known for sporting an asymmetrical haircut and her totally ubiquitous club-pop banger, 2018’s “Sweet but Psycho,” with its addictive reclamation of calling a lady crazy. Now, on her sophomore LP, she’s kept all of the high-energy Eurodance rhythms in place—but this time, the songs are personal. “I went through a very bad breakup while I used to be writing, and I had to alter course,” Max tells Apple Music. “I couldn’t just make positive, upbeat dance songs. I used to be hurt. Being within the studio and collaborating, it was hard—but additionally therapeutic.”

    Each track details a distinct stage in her healing process: The 2000s dance-pop-meets-Lady Gaga opener “Million Dollar Baby” is the moment she overcame the breakup; “Ghost” is the stage before—a protagonist haunted by the specter of their ex. Disco rhythms, too, shake the heartbreak loose, like on “Turn Off the Lights” and the ’80s synth production of “One among Us.” “I can not even count how repeatedly I’ve cried and danced on the dance floor this past 12 months,” she laughs. “I need my fans to feel empowered after listening to this.” Below, Ava Max walks Apple Music through Diamonds & Dancefloors, track by track.

    “Million Dollar Baby”
    “It interpolates LeAnn Rimes [‘Can’t Fight the Moonlight’] only [on] ‘in the dead of night,’ it’s only those three lyrics, that little melody. I called up LeAnn. And you recognize what? I like her. This song brought me to LeAnn Rimes. So I’m comfortable. I like her. I loved Coyote Ugly growing up.“

    “Sleepwalker”
    “‘Sleepwalker’ is one in all my favorite songs on the album, especially due to big guitar-sounding solo in it. It is so much fun, and I feel Cirkut murdered that. He’s such a talented producer; he’s the chief producer and backbone of the entire album.”

    “Perhaps You’re the Problem”
    “‘Perhaps You are the Problem’ was written on a day that I got in a very bad argument with my ex-boyfriend. I went into the studio and began yelling, ‘Perhaps you are the problem,’ and that is how the song was born. I could not cancel the session. I used to be so upset that I needed to go in. The lyrics and melodies got here out of my mouth at the identical time. It was written so quickly, inside an hour.”

    “Ghost”
    “I feel a variety of people can relate to this—after a breakup, in all places you go, you are trying and ignore this person. They might be so bad, but you continue to cannot stop desirous about their face and their smell and the best way they talk. You are trying up to now recent people, but their ghost keeps appearing in all places, and also you see them in all places.”

    “Hold Up (Wait a Minute)”
    “I like the lyric ‘XO, baby, bye, bye, bye.’ Mainly, I’m not going to face around for this shit, and do not wind me up with all of the lines. I never wish sick towards anyone; I hope my ex has a superb life. But at the tip of the day, we just didn’t work out.”

    “Weapons”
    “[Co-writers] Ryan Tedder and Melanie [Fontana] and I were going forwards and backwards through text messages. I wasn’t actually within the studio with them; I used to be within the studio with Cirkut and Madison Love. They were sending me ideas, I sent them ideas, and we finished it within the studio. They were like, ‘It’s successful!’”

    “Diamonds & Dancefloors”
    “I began that title track within the pandemic. It was one in all the primary songs I wrote for this. The song is basically talking about wanting to be on the dance floor, not in my lounge, watching one other TV show through the pandemic. I wanted the world would open. I desired to be covered in glitter and diamonds on the dance floor.”

    “Within the Dark”
    “I even have a 19-year-old niece. She was talking to me within the studio, and he or she was like, ‘It is best to write a song about how sometimes guys don’t need to hike with girls within the morning, how guys just need to bang and leave, they usually just need to see you in the dead of night.’ That has definitely happened to me. I even have definitely been banged and never talked to again. Why do guys only love in the dead of night sometimes? Love me through the day.”

    “Turn Off the Lights”
    “In line with my niece, ‘Turn Off the Lights’ should’ve come before ‘Within the Dark,’ but I actually think I just desired to end it more disco towards the tip. I used to be considering sonically. I wanted a dance record with no meaning behind it. I’m so sick of writing breakup records with this album. I just desired to close my eyes and dance.”

    “One among Us”
    “There’s the lyrics: ‘One among us would die for love/One among us would give it up.’ [My ex] just didn’t need to do the work. And he was very toxic. That is so upsetting. You must die for somebody, and the opposite person doesn’t need to die for you; it’s like, what am I doing? You are not meeting me halfway. I used to be crying within the studio. I went for a walk between writing the lyrics and melodies and recording, because I needed some fresh air. It’s probably the most intense song I’ve ever written, recorded, and possibly will perform.“

    “Get Outta My Heart”
    “This song is basically nearly attempting to get this guy out of my head, out of my automotive, and out of my heart. This is an element of the healing process.”

    “Cold As Ice”
    “I used to be singing really low on that harmony. I sound like a person sometimes.”

    “Last Night on Earth”
    “‘Last Night on Earth’ was inspired by my love of end-of-the-world movies like San Andreas and Geostorm. I like them a lot. I watched one, after which I went into the studio the subsequent day and I said, ‘I just need to talk in regards to the last night on Earth.’ We began talking about aliens after which we ended up writing this record about what we wish to do at the tip of the world: I need to be dancing or making love when the meteor strikes.”

    “Dancing’s Done”
    “This song almost didn’t even make the album because I put it in last. This song is, I might say, my most sensual, sexy song. I do not normally sing in falsetto. It’s a distinct side of me that individuals have not heard. This song is the start of the subsequent phase for me. I feel like I discovered a sound that I absolutely love.”

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