Avril Lavigne has been through a lot since the days of “Sk8r Boi” blasting on TRL and pretty much every pop radio station known to mankind. Tours. Albums (some more successful than others). Marriages. Divorce. And then, she was diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2014. Ever since her diagnosis, she’s kept herself rather under the radar, but now, it looks like everyone’s favorite former pop-punk princess is ready to return.
On Wednesday (Sept. 19), the Canadian singer unleashed her first new single in five years. Titled “Head Above Water,” the powerful ballad recounts Lavigne’s four-year battle with the infectious diseases.
In a press statement, she reveals how the song, and her forthcoming new record, came to be after her experience of being bed-ridden for months.
“I thought I was dying, and I had accepted that I was going to die,” the singer begins.
“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 co-wrote the song with Travis Clark and Stephan Moccio who produced the track. Listen to “Head Above Water” above.
“Head Above Water” comes weeks after the “Complicated” singer began teasing the possibility of not only a new song, but also a new album.
Last week, she wrote a letter to fans in which she confirmed that not only was there new music on the horizon, but that creating the new music was her way of coping and healing.
“I spent the last few years at home sick fighting Lyme Disease. 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. Truly…by keeping my spirits up, having goals to reach and a purpose to live for, my music helped to heal me and keep me alive.”
To coincide with the new song’s release, Lavigne and her the Avril Lavigne Foundation launched a charitable t-shirt campaign to help raise money for individuals affected by Lyme disease who cannot otherwise afford treatment. If you would like to participate in the campaign, head on over to the foundation’s website here.
“Head Above Water” will reportedly be featured on Lavigne’s still-in-the-works sixth studio album. The singer unleashed her self-titled album back in 2013.