Halloween came early if alternative-pop singer Bea Miller is any indication. Her newest single, “this call is coming from inside the house,” is her fourth this year after somewhat of a hiatus since she last released solo material back in 2020. Previously, she scored big when her 2017 single “like that” garnered millions of streams. But “this call” is a far cry from her breakthrough, as she opts for an unapologetic pop-rock sound that she’s never entirely embraced before, at least not to this degree.
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The title alone gives away Miller’s redirect to a slasher aesthetic, a surprising pair for music that is straightforward and spotlighted by pristine production, not unlike Paramore’s recent album. But on a song that’s just shy of three minutes, Miller reinstates her position as a musician who knows how to stand out in the pop zeitgeist. The bass pulses, which seemingly move to the beat of a catwalk, get the song going as her pop-punk tenor suits her new direction. Navigating over the abrasive and sheen guitar, Miller’s hallucinogenic lyrics capture her caving under her mind. A highlight from the personalized lines is one from the pre-chorus where she shouts, “I’m bleeding / Like the whore in horror movies.”
Similarly, the music video also captures the type of atmosphere found in an old 70s B-movie or even recent films like “X.” While inside a decrepit Victorian house set that’s akin to a life-sized dollhouse, Miller runs away in a white dress from what seems to be an extreme case of deja vu. The frantic energy oddly compliments the pop-rock sound, not coming off as a clashing of aesthetics or forced connections.
“This call” might fool some listeners for how spirited it sounds. But behind the veil are lyrics haunted by their honest and revealing insights.
“I’ve struggled with anxiety for all of my adult life. ‘this call is coming from inside the house’ is about the intense desire I feel to scream out for help each time I experience a panic attack, knowing that there’s nothing anyone can really do to help me,” said Miller on the song’s inspiration. “Sometimes my anxiety feels like a monster, something I want to run away from. But ultimately the monster is my own mind.”
From the sound of it, Miller has tamed the monster of her mind and refocused her energy on new material leading to what’s shaping to be a new and exciting album.
Words: David Sosa
“This call is coming from inside the house” by Bea Miller is out on all streaming services. For more on new music, follow her on Instagram.