Jake Germain is the next best thing: A breakdown of his singles era.

Jake+Germain+as+he+appears+in+an+early+2019+press+photoshoot.

Jake Germain

Jake Germain as he appears in an early 2019 press photoshoot.

By Mason Montano, Pinole Valley High School

Known for his Queer heartbreak anthems and extensive use of autotune for vocal effect, American singer-songwriter and producer Jake Germain’s career began when he uploaded his debut single, “Lonely Nights”, to SoundCloud in September 2016.

He later gained some notoriety on the underground pop music scene in June 2018 for his covers of English singer-songwriter Charli XCX’s (sadly still) unreleased songs “Taxi” and “Party 4 U” before releasing his debut EP, Lonely Nights, that November.

Up until that point, Germain had been an independent artist, writing and producing music entirely on his own, but that all changed when his non-album single “Champagne” caught the attention of Palettes — a Chicago-based independent record label and collective — who signed him in late 2018.

His first release through the label came in December of that year when he appeared as the featured artist on American singer and producer BOY SIM’s single “Peach Emoji”, and throughout 2019, Germain released a series of standalone singles, furthering his rise to stardom. 

Palettes
“Cavity” was produced by Crapface.

“Cavity”: Germain dropped “Cavity” in January 2019 as his debut, solo release through Palettes. The track is a PC Music and hyper pop-inspired bop about cybersex that’s very much in line with the lyrical content of “Dial Tone” — the breakout hit single from American singer-songwriter That Kid, who appears as a guest vocalist and delivers a sticky sweet verse with a feminine tone that compliments Germain’s more masculine presence. 

“Cavity” marked a major milestone in Germain’s career, as it was his first song to surpass ten thousand streams on Spotify, launching him into the eye of the underground pop music scene alongside “Peach Emoji”, and currently, it has almost 75 thousand streams.

Palettes
“Bounce” was produced by Crapface.

“Bounce”: Continuing the PC Music-inspired sound of “Cavity”, Germain released “Bounce” later in January 2019. The metallic banger contains lyrics overflowing with references to cars and driving that act as innuendos for sexual activity, with industrial production reminiscent of Charli XCX’s controversial 2016 single, “Vroom Vroom”.

Despite not achieving the same success as its predecessor, “Bounce” is a fun follow-up to “Cavity” that appealed to the underground pop community and further established Germain’s growing presence on the scene.

Palettes
“Killing Me” was produced by Jake Germain.

“Killing Me”: “Killing Me” was released in February 2019 as the sequel to “Champagne”. It’s a heartbreaking and extremely emotional track about longing for a past lover, and at the same time, hating oneself for it.

The outro features a haunting vocal performance from Germain as he screams the words, “And it’s killing me”, over and over again in a cacophony of anguish exemplified by vocal distortion. Thus, “Killing Me” is the most personal of the singles, and Germain mentioned via Twitter that it was the hardest one to record.

Palettes
“Over U” was produced by Jake Germain and BOY SIM.

“Over U”: After a short break, Germain returned in April 2019 with the next single, “Over U” — an electro pop banger about moving on from a difficult breakup that serves as the resolution to the “Champagne” / “Killing Me” storyline. The track was highly anticipated upon its release and quickly surpassed 100 thousand streams on Spotify, dethroning “Cavity” and becoming Germain’s biggest song to date.

“Over U” is also widely considered to be his breakout single, as it earned him notable mainstream recognition and acclaim from the likes of Billboard and Paper Magazine, and currently has over 200 thousand streams.

Palettes
“Dead to Me” was produced by Jake Germain.

“Dead to Me”: Germain followed-up “Over U” with “Dead to Me” in May 2019. It’s a darker, more aggressive track in comparison to the previous singles, with lyrics centered around anger and resentment directed toward an ex. Germain showcases his vocal range and production skills throughout the song — demonstrating both his talent and how men ain’t s**t.

Palettes
“JAKE” was produced by Himera.

“JAKE”: Released in June 2019, the self-titled “JAKE” is a stark departure from the pop nature of his previous singles with a more trap and hip-hop-inspired sound. The track is about flexing one’s wealth, success, and superiority and features a sharp, spicy verse from Dallas-based, Queer hip-hop duo F*Gedelics. 

Germain sarcastically asks the listener on the chorus if they “wanna kick it with Jake”, even though no one’s allowed to “kick it with Jake” on account of the fact that he’s way too iconic to associate with just anyone, as one can only dream to achieve the status needed to be able to “kick it with Jake”.

Palettes
“Heart in 2” was produced by Austin Armstrong, Jason Hahs, and Mattu.

“Heart in 2”: Following a brief hiatus due to personal conflicts, Germain dropped the highly anticipated “Heart in 2” in November 2019. It’s a pop rock-inspired invitation for someone to come and break his heart and the final single, according to Germain in a late February Instagram livestream, officially bringing the era to close with seven flawless singles.

Palettes
Germain as he appears in the cover for his upcoming single, “Compares to U”.

‘JG1’

Jake Germain has time and time again delivered Queer pop perfection and is currently gearing up for his new era. His debut full-length project, dubbed “JG1”, is expected to be released later this spring, and the lead single, “Compares to U”, is slated for release on March 20, so be sure to pre-order the song, and stream “JG1” when it drops because Jake Germain is the next best thing.

Stream Jake Germain’s music on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/2nPQs4MtVKwcVLqUjasYBV?si=muNyTKvnTZy_pXABRL5SpQ

Jake Germain
Germain as he appears in an early 2019 press shoot.

This story was originally published on Spartan Ink on March 2, 2020.