K-12 (album)

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Melanie Martinez - K-12.png
Studio album by
ReleasedSeptember 6, 2019 (2019-09-06)
Melanie Martinez chronology
Cry Baby's Extra Clutter EP
Melanie Martinez studio album chronology
Cry Baby

K-12 (pronounced "K through twelve"[2][3]) is the second studio album by American singer Melanie Martinez. It is her first studio album in four years and was released with an accompanying film of the same name on September 6, 2019,[4] through Atlantic Records.[5] Melanie also revealed that she has planned two more movies to follow K-12 which will be accompanied by albums.


Martinez began writing the album in 2015.[6] In a 2017 interview with Billboard, Martinez said that her then-untitled second album was finished and would be accompanied by a film that she was writing and directing.[7] In a February 2019 Instagram post, she wrote that the album "had been done for like 2 years now" and that it would likely be released at the end of summer.[8]


A teaser video of Martinez in a pastel classroom was released on May 15, 2019.[9] On May 16, she unveiled the album cover through her social media accounts.[10] Martinez revealed the release date through Instagram on May 29.[11]

On June 17, a TV spot was released, which included a snippet of "Nurse's Office".[12] This was followed by weekly promotions, or "assignments", beginning in late June 2019, followed by snippets usually a few hours or a day later. Martinez released snippets along with respective animated videos for every song from the album.[13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25]

On July 23, the official trailer for the K-12 film was released alongside the album tracklist and pre-order. It reveals some of the plot, while a snippet of "Show & Tell" plays at the end of the trailer. It also reveals that the film would be released in select theatres for one day only on September 5, 2019.[26] Martinez will embark on the K-12 Tour in support of the album from October to December 2019, starting in Washington, D.C.[27]

K-12 (The film)[edit]

Directed byMelanie Martinez
Alissa Torvinen (co-director)
Produced byJulie Greenwald
Craig Kallman
Phil Botti
Ron Shapiro
Wes Teshome
Kim Stuckwisch
Gergely Varga
Tyler Zelinsky
Written byMelanie Martinez
StarringMelanie Martinez
Emma Harvey
Music byMelanie Martinez
Michael Keenan
CinematographyJosh McKie
Edited byEmilie Aubrey
Niles Howard
Distributed byAbramorama
Release date
  • September 5, 2019 (2019-09-05)
Running time
95 minutes[28]
CountryUnited States
Budget$5-6 million[29]
Box office$347,045 (reflects selected countries only)[30]

Music and lyrics[edit]

K-12 was mostly produced by Michael Keenan, who had previously collaborated with Martinez on a few tracks on her previous album, Cry Baby. One track, "Drama Club", was produced by Martinez's frequent collaborators Kinetics & One Love. Martinez's official website describes K-12's sound as "a vibrant and singular melting pot of low-key hip-hop, soulful pop and indie-leaning electro".[31] AllMusic also notes influences of hip hop and R&B.[32] The tracks' lyrics discuss both Melanie's character Cry Baby's experiences at the fictional K-12 Sleepaway School and more general topics. Noteworthy tracks include "Drama Club" and "Strawberry Shortcake", both of which discuss different forms of sexism and gender-based discrimination, "Lunchbox Friends", in which Martinez talks about fake friends (called "lunchbox friends" in the track) and a longing for real, long-time friendship, "Orange Juice", a track that discusses bulimia and body-related insecurities, "Teacher's Pet", where a student-teacher romance is described and criticized and "The Principal" and "Detention", both of which explore the topic of a power imbalance between students and staff, alongside greed and unfair treatment of pupils. Other songs on the album revolve around events from the film.


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[32]

In a positive review, Mike Wass from Idolator described the film as a "twisted pop musical". He praised the "seamless" integration of the album's music into the film's plot and compared the visuals to those found in Tim Burton and Wes Anderson's films, but described the content as "multi-layered, gritty and distinctly Melanie". He stated, "Melanie has created a cohesive, funny, empowering film from scratch — and also delivered 13 bops." and found "Wheels on the Bus" (which he described as an "earworm"), "High School Sweethearts" and "Lunchbox Friends" to be standout album tracks. He ended the review by advising the reader to "[watch] the film before listening to the album to get the full experience. After all, that's the way Melanie intended this era to be consumed."[3]

Commercial performance[edit]

K-12 debuted at number three on the US Billboard 200 with 57,000 album-equivalent units, of which 30,000 were pure album sales. It is Martinez's second US top-10 album.[33] and her highest charting album on the chart to date.

Track listing[edit]

Adapted from Apple Music.[34]

All tracks written by Melanie Martinez and Michael Keenan, except where noted. All tracks produced by Keenan, except where noted.

1."Wheels on the Bus" 3:40
2."Class Fight"  2:41
3."The Principal"  2:56
4."Show & Tell"  3:35
5."Nurse's Office"  3:22
6."Drama Club"Kinetics & One Love3:45
7."Strawberry Shortcake"
  • Martinez
  • Keenan
  • Warren
8."Lunchbox Friends"  2:49
9."Orange Juice"  3:37
10."Detention"  3:56
11."Teacher's Pet"  4:01
12."High School Sweethearts"  5:11
  • Martinez
  • Keenan
  • Warren
Total length:46:27


Chart (2019) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[37] 6
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[38] 15
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[39] 65
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[40] 10
Czech Albums (ČNS IFPI)[41] 71
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[42] 8
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[43] 20
French Albums (SNEP)[44] 81
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[45] 27
Irish Albums (IRMA)[46] 7
Italian Albums (FIMI)[47] 11
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[48] 8
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[49] 18
Scottish Albums (OCC)[50] 8
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[51] 32
UK Albums (OCC)[52] 8
US Billboard 200[33] 3

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format(s) Label Ref.
Various September 6, 2019 [53][54]


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  4. ^ "K-12 💗 SEPT 6". May 29, 2019. Retrieved May 30, 2019 – via Twitter.
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  14. ^ @MelanieLBBH (July 2, 2019). "Snippet of 'The Principal' off my album K-12! Coming sept 6Artwork: @pastelae 'You don't know the pain that you are causing, yeah your actions hurt so do your words.The more you try to fuck us over we will be there yelling at your front door" (Tweet). Retrieved July 3, 2019 – via Twitter.
  15. ^ @MelanieLBBH (July 9, 2019). "✨Snippet of "Detention" off of my album K-12! ✨"Baby can you meet me tonight in detention? I can feel your blood pressure rise, fuck this tension. Let me crawl up into your mind, did I mention? Pretending everything's alright is detention."" (Tweet). Retrieved July 9, 2019 – via Twitter.
  16. ^ @MelanieLBBH (July 16, 2019). "👼🏼Snippet of "Recess" off my album K-12! 👼🏼 Artwork: @pastelae 💗" (Tweet). Retrieved July 16, 2019 – via Twitter.
  17. ^ @MelanieLBBH (July 22, 2019). "Snippet of "High School Sweethearts" off my album K-12! 🍫🌹" (Tweet). Retrieved July 23, 2019 – via Twitter.
  18. ^ @MelanieLBBH (August 1, 2019). "✨Snippet of "Wheels On The Bus" from K-12✨ "I'm saying nothing, No one's watching us don't give a fuck wheels on the bus. I'm holding it down up in the front, wheels on the bus. Ooh."" (Tweet). Retrieved August 2, 2019 – via Twitter.
  19. ^ @MelanieLBBH (August 8, 2019). "💗Snippet of "Class Fight" off my album K-12!💗 Artwork: @pastelae 👼🏼 Pre-order K-12: melanie.lnk.to/K-12TA" (Tweet). Retrieved August 8, 2019 – via Twitter.
  20. ^ @MelanieLBBH (August 15, 2019). "Snippet of "Teacher's Pet" off my album K-12 coming out in 22 days!👼🏼💗" (Tweet). Retrieved August 15, 2019 – via Twitter.
  21. ^ @MelanieLBBH (August 19, 2019). "💕Snippet of "Show & Tell" off K-12! 💕 "Why is it so hard to see? If I cut myself I would bleed. I'm just like you, you're like me. Imperfect and human are we." Artwork: @pastelae ✨👼🏼 Pre-order K-12: melanie.lnk.to/K-12TA" (Tweet). Retrieved August 19, 2019 – via Twitter.
  22. ^ @MelanieLBBH (August 24, 2019). "💗Snippet of "Drama Club" off K-12!💗Artwork: Pastelae Pre-order K-12 out September 6: melanie.lnk.to/K-12TW" (Tweet). Retrieved August 24, 2019 – via Twitter.
  23. ^ @MelanieLBBH (August 28, 2019). "Snippet of my personal favorite, "Nurse's Office" off my album K-12! Coming out in 9 fucking days!💗👼🏼 Pre-order: melanie.lnk.to/K-12TA Artwork: Pastelae" (Tweet). Retrieved August 28, 2019 – via Twitter.
  24. ^ @MelanieLBBH (September 1, 2019). "💕 Snippet of "Orange Juice" off my album K-12 💕 Coming out in 4 days!!!! Pre-order: melanie.lnk.to/K-12TA Artwork: @Pastelae👼" (Tweet). Retrieved September 2, 2019 – via Twitter.
  25. ^ Martinez, Melanie. "💗 Snippet of "Strawberry Shortcake" off my album K-12 💗 Coming out in 2 fucking days!!!!". Twitter. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  26. ^ Martinez, Melanie (July 23, 2019). "Melanie Martinez – K-12 (Official Trailer)". Retrieved July 23, 2019 – via YouTube.
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