Jana Mila - Chameleon [CD] | RECORD STORE DAY

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When the Amsterdam singer-songwriter Jana Mila (pronounced Yah-nuh MEE- lah) began writing a song called “Chameleon,” she thought she was writing about someone else—a friend who seemed to be changing her colors to please other people. “But the more I lived with the song, the more I felt like I was writing about myself,” she admits. “Doesn’t everybody try to reflect other people? Don’t I change my own colors in order to be accepted? Especially when you’re young, you can lose yourself in other people if you don’t know who you are.” That is the central idea behind her debut album, also titled Chameleon, which introduces Mila as an artist deeply committed to self-reckoning and self-possession. Our innate desire to belong and to be loved can lead to a kind of self-annihilation, making us strangers to ourselves. Writing songs is her means of finding and sustaining her identity.“The album is a conversation with myself, a way of getting to know myself better. There are little fears woven into every lyric, but there’s also advice to myself. I’m writing to find a part of myself that has some wisdom.” Musically, Mila is the best kind of chameleon. The album draws from a wild array of sources, entertaining new ideas on every song: dusty Laurel Canyon folk on “It’s True,” catchy Nashville country on “Let Me In,” driving ‘70s rock on “I Wasn’t Gonna.” She puts her stamp on every note, turning those fears into an album of remarkable confidence, eloquence, and power. Chameleon is a self-portrait rendered in vibrant detail.