Avril Lavigne returns with “Head Above Water”

It’s an emotional, uplifting comeback.

Avril Lavigne’s had a pretty tough couple of years. It’s been five years since she released her last album, and she’s spent a lot of that time fighting Lyme disease. That physical and emotional battle has inspired her to return to music, though, and last month she teased new music. True to her word, she’s released a new single, “Head Above Water.”

The Canadian pop punk princess may be best known for her rowdier, rockier releases, but this beautiful ballad is no less powerful. “I’ve got to keep the calm before the storm / I don’t want less, I don’t want more,” she belts over a gentle piano melody.

The music builds and builds, and an orchestra joins in before Lavigne launches into the chorus. “God, keep my head above water / Don’t let me drown, it gets harder / I’ll meet you there at the altar,” she sings, confronting her fate—but holding on like a true fighter.

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“Head Above Water” is a beautiful song made all the more inspiring when you consider what Lavigne has gone through. It’s a welcome return from one of pop’s most talented musicians. Listen to it below:

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