Pop-punk icon Avril Lavigne returns today with her first new music in almost five years. “Head Above Water” is a dramatic piano ballad of resilience that takes thematic inspiration from Lavigne’s recovery from Lyme disease, a personal health struggle she she first discussed in an interview with People back in 2015. It’s the first look at a forthcoming album Lavigne has teased since last year, though she has yet to announce a title or other details. The single also serves to promote her Avril Lavigne Foundation, which offers grants and resources related to Lyme.
In a statement published to her official website, Lavigne describes how inspiration for “Head Above Water” struck at a particularly vulnerable moment: “One night, I thought I was dying, and I had accepted that I was going to die. My mom laid with me in bed and held me. I felt like I was drowning. Under my breath, I prayed, ‘God, please help to keep my head above the water.’ In that moment, the song writing of this album began. It was like I tapped into something. It was a very spiritual experience. Lyrics flooded through me from that point on.”
Lavigne’s most recent studio album was 2013’s Avril Lavigne. Watch a lyric video for her new single “Head Above Water” below.