“Head Above Water” takes a dive into a new style

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Photo Courtesy of E! News

The album cover for Avril Lavigne's newest single, "Head Above Water", perfectly encapsulates the meaning and mood of the song.

Pratika Katiyar, Team Leader

As soon as the words Avril Lavigne appeared on my Spotify screen, my heart jumped. The pop punk princess just released new music after a five-year hiatus that felt as if it was everlasting. I eagerly clicked the play button, and mellow piano music began to fill my ears. As someone who is familiar with Lavigne’s older music, I was beyond shocked.

When I hear the name Avril Lavigne, an image of the punk rock rebel with iconic pink highlights and heavy eye makeup pops into my head. Yet, her newest song “Head Above Water” gives off a fresh, mature vibe, and portrays how much Lavigne has changed since her previous eponymous album from 2013. The tune is melodious, and after listening to it on repeat several times, the lyrics are engraved into my mind.

However, this magical change from punk rock/pop punk to Kesha-esque pop (her new song reminds me of “Praying” by Kesha) is not out of the blue. The eight time Grammy nominated singer has been open about battling Lyme disease for almost three years, and her change in style reflects that. The dynamics follow the mood of the song, which are powerful in expressing Lavigne’s emotions of how she feels that she is drowning and fighting a hard battle. Throughout the song, her voice is strong, with a sense of yearning. In the first verse, a lyric that stood out to me was: “Can’t part the sea, can’t reach the shore, And my voice becomes the driving force.”  Not only are the lyrics a clever play on words, with the stress from everyday life and personal relationships, these lyrics inspire us to use our voices for healing and coping. For those undergoing a troublesome period in their life, “Head Above Water” provides hope and encouragement. The chorus reference God, but the song itself is not religious, it is rather a nod towards empowerment and taking charge of your life.           

Not only is the song a bop, but the meaning is deeper than what you initially hear. Depending on who’s listening, the song could either be the perfect addition to your heartbreak playlist, or if you’re like me, to your good vibes playlist.