“Music is always there for me…” says Lovato, who released her new song “Still Have Me” on Wednesday morning. The track arrives quickly following her messy split from fiancé Max Ehrich, but it’s (refreshingly) not a seize-the-moment single; it was originally released for free to fans on social media.
Demi has yet to comment on the end of her engagement so “Still Have Me” feels like she’s venting in the most controlled way. Most of us, hopefully, have outlets to vent to and for Demi, that’s music. As she said it’s always there for her. I wish when I vented it could sound as beautiful as she does. But this a breakup record that walks the tightrope between the moments when you feel absolutely gutted and the moments you remember your future is a hell of a lot brighter.
Music is always there for me... pic.twitter.com/I77rrfFj8r— Demi Lovato (@ddlovato) September 30, 2020
She really shines on like these. That’s not to say we don’t love her heavily produced and polished moments (like “Cool For The Summer” and “Sorry Not Sorry”) but her unique strength lies in the duality of being able to do both. She can jump from anthemic pop princess to queen of the somber ballads so seamlessly because she has a voice that communicates pain. Maybe it’s because she has so much well-documented pain of her own to channel.
Here’s a bit of the first verse:
I’m a mess and I’m still broken / But I’m finding my way back
And it feels like someone’s stolen / All the light I ever had
The second verse cuts a little deeper:
Everything around me shattered / All the highs are now just low
But it doesn’t even matter / ‘Cause I'd rather be alone
I can’t blame her for wanting to be alone, especially given the accusations we’ve heard about Max over the past week, but the song doesn’t live in those low points. Just like its title indicates, “Still Have Me” is about focusing on the positive. She could have written a song about what a low down dirty dog she thinks Max is and made a run for the Billboard charts. Scoring a #1 while trash-talking your ex sounds like sweet revenge to me, but Demi’s taking the high road. Like I said, it doesn’t live in the low points of reflection, the gospel-inspired chorus which puts the attention on her, and her alone, is the thesis of this essay.
I don't have much but at least I still have me / And that's all I need
TMZ reports Demi wrote the song with some friends a while ago and she kept the hook, but changed the lyrics to reflect her split with Max. Sources says she’s become frustrated with Max’s post-breakup antics and didn’t want to wait to release the song, which is why she “leaked” it herself. I’ll take that report with a grain of salt. I’m sure she’s frustrated with Max (who wouldn’t be?) but I don’t think that’s what’s motivating her to release music. Her manager, Scooter Braun did immediately comment on her IG post saying: “Now let’s get it up on streamers,” along with a smiling-with-cold-sweat emoji. However, when a fan on Twitter asked him about Demi “leaking” the song, he said, “Her soul needed to speak.”
Music is for the soul. Her soul needed to speak. Not for me to get in the way of.— Scooter Braun (@scooterbraun) September 30, 2020
“Still Have Me” has since been made available on all platforms.