Pop

A Great Big World Cried While Making Their New Music, So Have Tissues Handy

The indie pop band opens up about their next chapter.

Great big things are on tap for A Great Big World. (Annnnnd that’s the last cheesy joke you’ll hear from us, we promise.)

But seriously, the indie pop duo known best for their 2013 mega-hit “Say Something” released their latest single “Hold Each Other” (feat. Futuristic) last month, and their second untitled LP is slated for a November release. “Hold Each Other” breaks new, exciting ground for AGBW. The mid-tempo jam has a distinct R&B flavor and includes particularly raw lyrics from Chad King, who identifies as gay. “Something happens when I hold him,” Chad sings on the track, proudly owning his sexuality—a rarity in top 40 fare. Could this be the most subtle gay anthem known to man? It certainly sounds like it.

“Hold Each Other,” with its experimental sound and confessional lyrics, is a gateway drug to what’s next for AGBW. We sat down with the band and got them to dish on their new music, the first time Chad saw gay people IRL—he was 18!— and “Hold Each Other”’s, erm, diverse responses. Get ready, Chad and his band-mate Ian Axel are about to be your next baes.

On their new album:

Ian: “It’s mature. This album is definitely a little bit of an evolution from the last, but it still feels like us. There are some things that we have to write about because they’re our therapy, and we actually need to get them out. It’s why we write songs. There are tears and moments that change our lives. [There’s] a bunch of those songs on this album.”
Chad: “The last album was a bit theatrical, and this album feels a little more beat-driven. What we realized from the last three or four months of writing was that the songs that resonated the most with us were the ones where we were as honest as we could be with ourselves.”

On the polarizing reactions to “Hold Each Other”:

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