Whenever an artist releases posthumous music, the first thing I think is, “Oh God, I hope I’m not going to have to lie about this being good.” Thankfully, “SOS” crosses that finish line without any problems. The first single from Avicii’s posthumous album, “Tim”, this is a song that plays well within the boundaries of standard EDM pop music. It knows what it is, and what it is is catchy shit.
“SOS”, featuring Aloe Blacc
The track’s a banger, effortlessly balancing triple-helices of pop beats, tumbling synths, and Aloe Blacc’s catchy melodies. The classic hook “We could be more than just part-time lovers” is delivered with seasoned ease, and rests on a mound of crispy drums and a tropical backing track.
Avicii (real name Tim Bergling) passed away in April of 2018. While it might seem ghoulish to look for warning signs in the first song to come out from him in the year since, lines like “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” were always going to seem heavy with foreshadowing. The song is about finding a partner whose love is enough to pull you out of a dark place. While it’s been reported that Avicii was pulling himself out of such a place right before his death, his eventual suicide is going to color most of his posthumous lyrics (and maybe even a few of his classics).
Singer Aloe Blacc said, “He wrote these lyrics obviously about some of his battles, and I think it’s a really important topic to approach and to share, especially with his visibility and his access to ears and hearts: To give people the words to be able to say ‘I need help.’”
But the song itself is uplifting, racing along to the accompaniment of fast, joyful melodies, even when the lyrics get a little dark. A vibrant and ultimately sweet offering from the highly popular Swede, “SOS” should feature on any summer playlist.
Bergling’s family will be donating the net proceeds from album sales to the Tim Bergling Foundation, a platform for Suicide prevention and mental health awareness.The foundation is set for launch on April 20th, on the anniversary of his passing.
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