“SOS,” the first song from the forthcoming posthumous Avicii album, dropped today. The song, which features vocals from “Wake Me Up” singer Aloe Blacc and is quite distinctively an Aviciitrack, is the first to arrive from the album, which is called “Tim” and is due in June. Collaborators said was nearly finished at the time of the artist’s death from an apparent suicide on April 20 of last year.
The track was produced by Avicii (legal name: Tim Bergling), Albin Nedler and Kristoffer Fogelmark. The two collaborators talked about the challenges of completing the work Avicii had started.
“Afterwards, finishing them was … I just get paralyzed by talking about it, but everything was about completing Tim’s version,” says Fogelmark.
Through the program Fruity Loops, Nedler and Fogelmark were able to track and preserve Bergling’s keystrokes. “He had a completely different way of playing piano and keyboard,” says Nedler. “As a result his fingers would sometimes strike an unusual key, which added to his unique sound. Tim’s fingerprints are literally across the entirety of ‘SOS.’”
In personal notes recovered after Bergling’s death, he had written about wanting to work with Aloe Blacc, so they invited him to record.
Said Blacc, “I feel like ‘SOS’ was a song that was probably ahead of its time for when he wrote it. 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.’”
Late last month, Bergling’s family announced the establishment of the Tim Bergling Foundation, which “will initially focus on supporting people and organizations working in the field of mental illness and suicide prevention,” the brief announcement reads, noting that it will also be active in climate change, development assistance, nature conservation and endangered species. Proceeds from the album will go to the foundation.
“Tim wanted to make a difference,” the statement concludes. “Starting a foundation in his name is our way to honor his memory and continue to act in his spirit.”