Head Above Water (song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

"Head Above Water"
Avril Lavigne Head Above Water.png
Single by Avril Lavigne
from the album Head Above Water
ReleasedSeptember 19, 2018 (2018-09-19)
Format
Genre
Length3:40
LabelBMG
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
  • Stephan Moccio
Avril Lavigne singles chronology
"Fly"
(2015)
"Head Above Water"
(2018)
"Tell Me It's Over"
(2018)
Music video
"Head Above Water" on YouTube

"Head Above Water" is a song recorded by Canadian singer Avril Lavigne from her sixth studio album of the same name (2019). It was written by Lavigne and Travis Clark of We The Kings alongside its producer Stephan Moccio. It was released as the lead single from the album on September 19, 2018, by BMG Rights Management.[1][2] It is Lavigne's first single since "Fly", released on April 2015. Commercially, the song peaked at number 64 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and entered the charts of 24 other countries and regions. In September 2019, a new version featuring vocals from We The Kings' Travis Clark was released.[3]

Background and release[edit]

Those were the worst years of my life as I went through both physical and emotional battles. I was able to turn that fight into music I’m really proud of. I wrote songs in my bed and on the couch and recorded there mostly as well. Words and lyrics that were so true to my experience came pouring out of me effortlessly

—Lavigne on releasing "Head Above Water" as lead single.[4]

After more than a year from the release of the last single from her fifth studio album, on December 25, 2016, Lavigne announced via her Instagram account that she was working on new music for her upcoming sixth studio album.

On August 18, 2018, Lavigne posted on Instagram that new music is coming in September. At the end of August, the song "Head Above Water" was registered and Lavigne deleted almost all her pictures on Instagram.

On September 1, Lavigne shared a picture of her underwater via her social media. Several people reported that the image was related to the song "Head Above Water". On September 6, Lavigne posted a lengthy letter to her fans on her website detailing her struggle with Lyme disease in the past few years and how she overcame it. This also included a release date for "Head Above Water". She wrote on the letter about the song "I had accepted death and could feel my body shutting down. I felt like I was drowning. Like I was going under water and I just needed to come up for air. Like I was in a river being pulled in a current. Unable to breathe. Praying to God for Him to help me just keep my head above the water. To help me see through the stormy weather."

Lavigne shared a 30-second-snippet of the song on September 13, 2018.

The song was officially released on YouTube and worldwide streaming services on September 19, 2018.

Composition[edit]

"Head Above Water" is a pop rock & christian rock song, backed by steady-building mix of piano, strings, synths and thunderous drums. Lavigne describes it as a "spiritual experience." Lavigne's vocal range spans from low F3 to high F5 in the song "[5][6] Musically the song is in the key of F major and shifts between 2/4 and 4/4 time signatures.[7]

Critical reception[edit]

Marina Pedrosa of Billboard wrote that "Head Above Water" "is a powerful, spiritual epiphany detailing the Canadian singer's journey through her battle with Lyme disease."[8] Robin Murray of Clash complimented the track's production and deemed it a "highly personal note". Murray described the song's lyrics and production in detail: "Now, we've never been 100% behind Avril Lavigne's music, but we can't help but be touched by the way she's approached what must be an enormously challenging situation."[9] Writing for Spin, Anna Gaca described the track as a "dramatic piano ballad of resilience".[10] Madeline Roth of MTV Canada named "Head Above Water" an "emotionally charged comeback". Roth was impressed with the fact that song wasn't "just metaphorical", because "it documents a culminating moment in Lavigne’s years-long struggle with Lyme disease".[11] Katherine Gillespie from Paper wrote that "Head Above Water" is a "heavy piano ballad about just that: trying to stay alive."[12]

Lindsay Elizabeth of Faithwire gave the song a positive review, called the song a "powerful worship ballad". Elizabeth further praised that "Lavigne details her relationship with God, and how He saved her when she thought she was at the end of her life."[13] Michael Foust of Christian Headlines described the song as "God-centric song" that even could be labeled “praise and worship",[14] while Maria Sherman of Jezebel considered the song's nature as "dramatic Christian rock vibes" and comparing it to Rachel Platten's 2015 single "Fight Song".[15]

Music video[edit]

Filmed in Vík í Mýrdal, Iceland and directed by Elliott Lester,[16][17] the official music video for "Head Above Water" was released on September 27, 2018 to coincide with Lavigne's 34th birthday.[18] The music video ends with a message to join Lavigne's namesake foundation, which supports Lyme disease prevention, treatment and research.

Live performances[edit]

Lavigne gave the first performance of the song on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on September 12, 2018 and aired through television on September 26, 2018.[19] On October 15, Lavigne released a new live performance of the song on Honda Stage on her YouTube channel from a partnership between iHeart Radio and Honda.[20] On November 19, Lavigne performed the song on Dancing With The Stars (The Finale) for Alexis & Alan's freestyle. On February 13, 2019, she performed the song on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.[21] On February 15, 2019, Lavigne performed the song on Good Morning America. On February 18, 2019, Lavigne performed the song on Live with Kelly and Ryan.

Track listing[edit]

Digital download[22]
No.TitleLength
1."Head Above Water"3:40

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits and personnel adapted from Tidal.[23]

  • Avril Lavigne – lead vocals, songwriting
  • Stephan Moccio – production, songwriting, vocal production, piano, keyboards, backing vocals
  • Travis Clark – songwriting
  • Kylen Deporter – record engineering assistance, backing vocals
  • Chad Kroeger – vocal producer
  • Chris Baseford – vocal production, record engineering, drum programming
  • Jay Paul Bicknell – additional production, record engineering, drum programming
  • John Hanes – record engineering
  • Aaron Sterling – drums, additional record engineering
  • Serban Ghenea – mixing engineering
  • Jonathan Martin Berry – guitar
  • Paul Bushnell – bass guitar
  • Kevin Fox – cello
  • Vanessa Freebairn-Smith – cello
  • Will Quinnell – mastering
  • Chris Gehringer – mastering engineering

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[62] Platinum 40,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[63] Platinum 80,000double-dagger
United States (RIAA)[64] Gold 500,000double-dagger

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label Ref.
Various September 19, 2018 Digital download, streaming BMG [1]
Italy September 21, 2018 Contemporary hit radio [65]
United States October 8, 2018 Hot adult contemporary radio [66]
Christian radio [67]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Avril Lavigne announces highly-anticipated new single 'Head Above Water' in letter to fans". BMG. September 6, 2018. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  2. ^ "Avril Lavigne Says the Night She 'Accepted' She Was Dying Inspired Her New Album". Entertainment Tonight. September 20, 2018. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  3. ^ "Avril Lavigne Unveils New Version of 'Head Above Water' Featuring We the Kings' Travis Clark: Listen". Billboard. Retrieved October 7, 2019.
  4. ^ Moore, Sam. "Listen to Avril Lavigne's battling new single 'Head Above Water'". Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  5. ^ Wass, Mike. "Avril Lavigne Returns With Powerful Pop/Rock Ballad "Head Above Water"". Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  6. ^ "After 5 Years, Avril Lavigne Is Back". Vogue. Retrieved September 22, 2018.
  7. ^ Lavigne, Avril. "Avril Lavigne "Head Above Water" Sheet Music". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved September 28, 2018.
  8. ^ Pedrosa, Marina. "Avril Lavigne Makes Powerful Comeback With Emotional Single 'Head Above Water': Listen". Billboard. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  9. ^ Murray, Robin. "Listen: Avril Lavigne - 'Head Above Water'". Clash Magazine. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  10. ^ Gaca, Anna. "Avril Lavigne – "Head Above Water"". Spin. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  11. ^ Roth, Madeline. "Avril lavigne makes an emotionally charged comeback with 'head above water'". MTV Canada. Retrieved September 20, 2018.
  12. ^ Gillespie, Katherine. "Avril Lavigne Returns With an Angsty Piano Ballad". Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  13. ^ Elizabeth, Lindsay. "Avril Lavigne Releases First Song in Five Years – And It's a Worship Song". Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  14. ^ Foust, Michael. "Avril Lavigne Cries Out to God in Emotional, Chart-Topping Song". Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  15. ^ Sherman, Maria. "Avril Lavigne Returns, and Lana Del Rey's 'Venice Bitch' Is the Soundtrack to a Sun-Soaked Drive". Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  16. ^ Sheridan, Wade. "Avril Lavigne goes to Iceland in 'Head Above Water' music video". UPI.com. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  17. ^ Rincón, Alessandra (August 24, 2018). "Avril Lavigne Shares Silly Behind-The-Scenes Clips From Set of New Video". Billboard. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  18. ^ "Avril Lavigne on Twitter". Retrieved September 26, 2018 – via Twitter.
  19. ^ Pedrosa, Marina. "Avril Lavigne Performs Emotional 'Head Above Water' for First Time on 'Kimmel': Watch". Billboard. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  20. ^ Pedrosa, Marina (October 15, 2018). "Avril Lavigne Gives Intimate Performance Of 'Head Above Water' For iHeartRadio Honda Stage Series". Billboard. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  21. ^ "Avril Lavigne Performs On "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" (Watch Now)". Headline Planet. February 13, 2019. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  22. ^ "Avril Lavigne - Head Above Water (CD, Single, Promo)". Discogs. December 25, 2018.
  23. ^ "Head Above Water / Avril Lavigne". Tidal. September 19, 2018. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  24. ^ "ARIA Chart Watch #492". auspOp. September 29, 2018. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  25. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Avril Lavigne – Head Above Water" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved November 29, 2018.
  26. ^ "Ultratop.be – Avril Lavigne – Head Above Water" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  27. ^ "Ultratop.be – Avril Lavigne – Head Above Water" (in French). Ultratip. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  28. ^ "Avril Lavigne Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
  29. ^ "Avril Lavigne Chart History (Canada AC)". Billboard. Retrieved November 25, 2018.
  30. ^ "Avril Lavigne Chart History (Canada CHR/Top 40)". Billboard. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  31. ^ "Avril Lavigne Chart History (Canada Hot AC)". Billboard. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  32. ^ "Croatia ARC TOP 100". HRT. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  33. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Radio Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: Change the chart to CZ – RADIO – TOP 100 and insert 201910 into search. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  34. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Czech). Hitparáda – Digital Top 100 Oficiální. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: Change the chart to CZ – SINGLES DIGITAL – TOP 100 and insert 201842 into search. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
  35. ^ "Euro Digital Song Sales". Billboard. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
  36. ^ "Singles Telecharges – Classement 2018 de la semaine 39". SNEP. October 2, 2018. Retrieved October 2, 2018.[permanent dead link]
  37. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Avril Lavigne – Head Above Water". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved September 28, 2018.
  38. ^ "Digital Singles Chart (International) Εβδομάδα: 42/2018" (in Greek). IFPI Greece. Archived from the original on October 29, 2018. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  39. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Rádiós Top 40 játszási lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
  40. ^ "Archívum – Slágerlisták – MAHASZ" (in Hungarian). Single (track) Top 40 lista. Magyar Hanglemezkiadók Szövetsége. Retrieved September 28, 2018.
  41. ^ "Irish-charts.com – Discography Avril Lavigne". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
  42. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Avril Lavigne – Head Above Water". Top Digital Download. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  43. ^ "Avril Lavigne Chart History (Japan Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  44. ^ "The Official Lebanese Top 20 – Avril Lavigne". The Official Lebanese Top 20. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  45. ^ "RIM CHARTS Top 20 Most Streamed International" (PDF). (RIM). October 12, 2018. Retrieved October 19, 2018.
  46. ^ "NZ Hot Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. October 1, 2018. Retrieved September 28, 2018.
  47. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  48. ^ "RIAS Top 30 International Streaming Chart" (PDF). (RIAS). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2018. Retrieved October 19, 2018.
  49. ^ "ČNS IFPI" (in Slovak). Hitparáda – Singles Digital Top 100 Oficiálna. IFPI Czech Republic. Note: Select SINGLES DIGITAL - TOP 100 and insert 201842 into search. Retrieved October 23, 2018.
  50. ^ "Spain Digital & Physical Songs Sales". spanishcharts.com. September 23, 2018. Retrieved October 4, 2018.
  51. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Avril Lavigne – Head Above Water". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
  52. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  53. ^ "Official Singles Downloads Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  54. ^ "Official Independent Singles Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  55. ^ "Avril Lavigne Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  56. ^ "Avril Lavigne Chart History (Adult Pop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved December 25, 2018.
  57. ^ "Avril Lavigne Chart History (Hot Christian Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
  58. ^ "Avril Lavigne Chart History (Christian Airplay)". Billboard. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
  59. ^ "Cross Rhythms– Year-End 2018". Cross Rhythms. Retrieved July 14, 2019.
  60. ^ "Hot Christian Songs – Year-End 2018". Billboard. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  61. ^ "Hot Christian Songs – Year-End 2019". Billboard. Retrieved December 6, 2019.
  62. ^ "Brazilian single certifications – Avril Lavigne – Head Above Water" (in Portuguese). Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos. Retrieved November 27, 2019.
  63. ^ "Canadian single certifications – Avril Lavigne – Head Above Water". Music Canada. Retrieved February 18, 2020.
  64. ^ "American single certifications – Avril Lavigne – Head Above Water". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved July 31, 2019. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 
  65. ^ "AVRIL LAVIGNE "Head Above Water" | (Radio Date: 21/09/2018)". radiodate.it. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  66. ^ "Hot/Modern/AC Future Releases". Archived from the original on September 19, 2018. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  67. ^ "Avril Lavigne - Head Above water - Daily Play MPE®". Daily Play MPE®. October 5, 2018. Retrieved October 5, 2018.