The world may have lost musical genius Avicii last year, but he is not done yet. His last project, an album called 'Tim', is about to be released later in the year, but a new song 'SOS' from the album has just been released and the lyrics speak more about who Tim actually was.
Tim Bergling, aka Avicii, passed away last year in Oman on April 20, 2018, at the age of 28, leaving behind a void in the music space. After his death, his family gave a statement which covertly implied a suicide, however, the reason about his death has remained unclear.
“...When he stopped touring, he wanted to find a balance in life to be happy and be able to do what he loved most – music. He really struggled with thoughts about Meaning, Life, Happiness. He could not go on any longer. He wanted to find peace..”
It has been almost a year since his death, but Avicii immortalized his genre of music by bringing to the world rhythmic songs, that not only connects but also reverberates with vivacity. However, he left us too soon and some of his work unfinished.
One of his songs, written in the last few months of his life was released on April 10, and was simply named ‘SOS’ (Save our Souls). Could it be just a metaphor, or could it be more biographical, going beyond the obvious lyrics and revealing something powerfully sad about Tim’s life? The track was produced by Avicii, Albin Nedler and Kristoffer Fogelmark, from the album ‘Tim’ which is set to release in June, later this year. The song also features Aloe Blacc, on vocals, as Avicii had initially visioned for the song, before his death.
Aloe Blacc had previously collaborated with Avicii on the global hit song ‘Wake Me Up.’ Blacc shared a video of the making of 'SOS' in which he goes on to explain what it means to have worked on the song and what the lyrics could mean to the world, “SOS was a song that was probably ahead of its time for when he wrote it. And he wrote these lyrics obviously about some of his battles, and I think its a really important topic to approach and share especially with his visibility and his access to ears and hearts to give people the words, I need help.”
In the documentary 'Avicii: True Stories', which was released a few days after his death, the musician is portrayed as a man bogged down by the pressure of keeping up with not just glitterati and his own success but the tremendous leg work he had to do in his tours throughout his career.
He was not just suffering mentally but was also in pain physically. The movie which was released in Sweden by Netflix, talks in detail about Avicii's struggles with partying, social anxiety and alcoholism. At one point it became all too much for Avicii, and his gall bladder and appendix were to be removed, and he was under constant medication for pain.
While we would never know what exactly transpired in the days leading to his death, the stark imagery of his lyrics in SOS, reveals a deep and dark web of anxiety, something he was not able to overcome and which at the end became too overbearing.
The lyrics of the songs starts:
"Can you hear me? S.O.S.
Help me put my mind to rest
Two times clean again, I'm actin' low
A pound of weed and a bag of blow"
The opening lines are enough to set the context of what exactly he is trying to talk about, the roots of his anxiety have grown too long and he doesn't know how to put it to rest. He goes on to the second verse, which sounds like a literal cry for help.
"I get robbed of all my sleep
As my thoughts begin to bleed
I'd let go, but I don't know how
Yeah, I don't know how, but I need to now."
This particular para talks about the void that the anxiety is creating in his life and which is manifested in insomnia and listlessness, and he has no idea of how to let it go. Similar dark imagery also abounds in his smashing hit 'Wake Me Up'.
"Feeling my way through the darkness
Guided by a beating heart
I can't tell where the journey will end
But I know where to start
They tell me I'm too young to understand
They say I'm caught up in a dream
Well life will pass me by if I don't open up my eyes
Well that's fine by me."
Although the song, with its classic upbeat music, is viewed as an anthem for dreamers, who are different and follow their passion, it reverberates the same themes of darkness, disorientation, and feeling of loss as the new song.
The release of 'SOS' also coincides with the formation of the Tim Bergling Foundation, announced by his family. The foundation will primarily cater to the needs of support groups working in mental health and also the prevention of suicides.