In February of 2017, Ryan Adams will release Prisoner, his first full-length album of original material since 2014’s stellar self-titled LP. Earlier this month, he shared the set’s lead single, “Do You Still Love Me?,” and today (Dec. 23) he’s followed that with “To Be Without You,” a sighing, mid-tempo breakup song that ranks among the most devastating (and devastated) songs in the singer-songwriter’s catalog.
Over crisp, interwoven acoustic guitars, Adams laments his lonely state with matter-of-fact delivery: “So hard to be without you/ Used to feel so angry, now I only feel humble.” He still sounds too shell-shocked to really be self-pitying as he concludes, “Every day’s a lesson things were brighter before/ And nothing really matters anymore,” before an electric guitar solo takes over to do the closing emoting for him.
“It broke my soul in a zillion pieces writing this,” wrote Adams in his Instagram post announcing the song. “This record mattered more to me than any record before it and my life depended on making it. I would have died inside if I hadn’t.“
Listen to “To Be Without You” here, and read the rest of Adams’ heartfelt explanation of his new album and the power of music below.
This is the second single from PRISONER, my new album. It’s out FEBRUARY 17 ON PAX-AM/BLUE NOTE It’s called “TO BE WITHOUT YOU” It broke my soul in a zillion pieces writing this. This record mattered more to me than any record before it and my life depended on making it. I would have died inside if I hadn’t. I was broken. I don’t know what it is. But I know I had to write it and I know I have to sing these songs so I can live and keep living and breathing. It’s all I know how to do. It’s who I am. It’s what I want to leave here so one day when I’m old and gone I contributed something to this place. It’s a map for anybody who got lost like I get lost. It’s hope for anybody who’s forgotten what that is. These songs are part of me but they’re now part of anyone who needs them. Records should matter. They do when people need them most. This was my way through total fucking darkness and things nobody can plan for. I’ll never come as close as this to that place. I won’t have to. I love RocknRoll and there’s times it’s saved my life. This is the time it saved me from devastation so my life could be worth living for. Songs and Records were my best friend before I could play guitar. I hope these find their way to good homes and people who need them. Long live PaxAm. Keep fighting for good. Keep your hearts alive. XO Ryan Adams Dec 23rd “To Be Without You” AVAILABLE NOW AT https://ryanadams.lnk.to/ToBeWithoutYou ALSO Prisoner Pre-Order Live At: http://ryanadams.lnk.to/Prisoner Sign Up For A Chance At The Limited Edition Prisoner Mystery Box: http://bit.ly/paxammystery