Back not TOO long ago when I turned 16, my most important achievements were finally getting my own bedroom after sharing one with my brother for years and getting my very own stereo system that could play two tapes, four! CDs and could tune into local radio stations. I didn’t have the capability to understand that I could maybe write, sing, or act, even though later in life I discovered that I could do them well enough.
I bring this up because putting into context what being 16 was like for me immediately after listening to Jillian Shea Spaeder’s latest single “Barely Changed,” made me recognize that much more of how outstanding this track is.
Had I only heard the music alone, I would’ve been impressed by its tone, the catchy hook and pop sensibilities that sound like it belongs alongside Ariana Grande or Dua Lipa. But, the fact that Spaeder’s only beginning her professional music career makes me excited to see where she goes from here. If this is the baseline for where she’s starting, she’s got a whole lifetime to grow both musically and personally in ways that others can only aspire to become.
The track itself is well produced, has musical textures that complement her voice nicely and it lets the hook do the hard work of capturing the listener’s attention.
As if writing and recording an impressive track weren’t impressive enough, Spaeder’s also an actress — she’s most notably known for her role as Bailey in the Disney Channel comedy “Walk the Prank,” and she’s also appeared as a guest star on Nickelodeon’s “Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn,” as well as several segments of OMG for the DreamWorksTV channel on YouTube.
A cynic might say that there’s no guarantee that she’ll be able to keep this success up and that for every Miley Cyrus there’s countless numbers of other teen stars who have flamed out before their 19th birthday. However while that might be true, you can say that about anyone regardless of their age, career or particular talent.
It’s also worth remembering that success is never defined by other people’s expectations, or by how much wealth and fame you receive. Success is how you perceive your own accomplishments, how you’ve reached your own goals, and how you feel about the life you’ve lived up to this point.
Back to the single, though — it’s a strong entry that should make Ms. Spaeder proud. The lyrics have substance, the beat makes you want to hit the dance floor and her powerful voice shines through it all, taking the lead the way it should in a great pop track.
Ms Spaeder’s personality comes through here both on this track, and the previous single “Story,” which came out last July. I can’t wait to see what comes next for her, and I will not be surprised to see her become a gigantic superstar either in the musical realm, the acting realm, or both.
“Barely Changed” is a great pop song full of driving beats, great hooks and meaningful, heartrending lyrics.
Jillian’s voice slides silkily around, tripping over the notes with a skill that belies her age. She sings from her heart with the grace of youth and an ancient soul.
Jillian is just starting out as a recording artist, although she grew up performing in a very musical family. You may recognize Jillian for her role as Bailey on the Disney's hit series "Walk the Prank." This is her second single and I have to say that I absolutely love the production on this song. It’s full of ticks and quirks and gorgeous textured sounds. It’s all a beautiful dichotomy to the soft raspy voice of Jillian Shea Spaeder. Jillian is an actress as well as a singer, but I hope she keeps singing.
I hear the influence and the beautiful sounds of Ariana Grande, Rihanna, Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, Jorja Smith and Adele in her. Jillian has extraordinary pipes but she doesn’t fall into the trap of overdoing it. She holds her own line - authentic, honest and brilliant. There’s a little Pink in here too, that warm soft tone, holding back until she can’t help but let go…so good.
I love this track. I can’t stop playing it in fact. It’s on my regular tracklist bouncing around in my car making the LA traffic bearable!!!
Jillian Shea Spaeder is a rising pop artist who shows a melodic, illuminated electronic-forward pop sound on new track “Barely Changed.” Already finding success as an actor as Bailey on the Disney series Walk the Prank, Spaeder is now drawing praise for her pop music output, first with the single “Story” last summer and now with “Barely Changed.” The track is an upbeat, anthemic effort with escalating synths, hooky vocal pitch sampling (02:16), and shimmering production.
Ellenwood-EP introduced Jillian Shea last year when she released “Story”, her first single which combined Taylor Swift-style pop and heavy electronic future bass in an interesting twist on indie electro pop. This year Shea is back with her second single and she’s sinking her teeth into more complex sound with “Barely Changed.”
The somewhat lighter beat structure in “Barely Changed” is of the trap persuasion rather than the full future bass of “Story” and the synths are very ravey. The more emotive vocals see the former Disney star exploring both her vocal range and her songwriting/composing chops, showing a lot of maturity and great potential. Said lyrics fit right in with the beats to combine tones and make a really complex track.
Whether you’re looking at Jillian Shea from a pop or an indie/electro perspective, she’s definitely an artist to keep an eye on as she develops her sound. With such high-quality music at the beginning of her solo career, she’s certainly starting with good footing to take her in any musical direction she wishes.
“Barely Changed” is out now and can be streamed on Spotify.
Your EDM introduced Jillian Shea last year with her interesting combo of grassroots, Taylor Swift-style pop and heavy future bass beats in her debut single “Story.” After being featured on Billboard and TigerBeat for that single, Shea is back to sink her teeth into some more complex sound with “Barely Changed.”
It’s interesting when comparing “Story” to “Barely Changed” because the two tracks seem to be mirror images of themselves in terms of style. While the melodies and vocals in “Story” bordered on bubble gum hippie pop its beats and bass were dark and brooding. In “Barely Changed,” Shea explores some darker melodies and brooding lyrics while the bass and beats are quite a bit lighter. It’s this juxtaposition of light and dark that’s drawn both pop and EDM fans in to focus on Shea, and it seems she’s starting to play with it a bit to find her best sound.
The somewhat lighter beat structure in “Barely Changed” is of the trap persuasion and the synths are very ravey. Shea and her producers took a page out of the Bassnectar rule book for this one and it’s definitely worked. The more emotive vocals see the former Disney star exploring both her vocal and songwriting range and they fit right in with the contrasting beats to combine tones and make a really complex track.
Whether you’re looking at Jillian Shea from a pop or an EDM perspective, she’s definitely an artist to keep an eye on as she develops her sound away from her bubblegum past. With such high-quality music at the beginning of her solo career, she’s starting with good footing to take her in any direction she wishes.
“Barely Changed” is out now and can be streamed on Spotify.
Get to know Jillian Shea a little bit better after listening to her latest and greatest single!
The 16-year-old actress and singer wowed fans and followers this past summer with the release of her debut single, “Story,” and now she’s done it again with new song “Barely Changed.” Telling the story about realizing when its time to cut someone out of your life, this single is so relatable and we’re so proud of Jillian for singing about something so near and dear to her!
Showcasing her amazing vocals, this upbeat hit is totally worth the listen. We are totally obsessed and we know you will be too! Keep scrolling to check out Jillian’s new single, “Barely Changed”!