Despite not releasing an album this year, Demi has been quite active on the music front. She kicked off the year with a heartbreaking ballad titled “Anyone” and followed that up with the less-than-stellar “I Love Me” and “I’m Ready” with Sam Smith. Demi also starred in and recorded original music for Netflix’s Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga and guested on Marshmello’s enjoyable new track, “OK Not To Be OK.” In a rapid turn of events, Demi rushed into an engagement to Emmy-nominated actor Max Ehrich. The engagement ended almost as quickly as it came into fruition after Demi’s loyal fans uncovered troubling old tweets and Instagram lives from Ehrich. From overdoses and hospitalizations to Grammy comebacks and failed engagements, Demi has had a tumultuous past few years that no one should have to live through.
Her new single, “Still Have Me,” sees her operating at the height of her powers — sincere gut-wrenching balladry that, while somber, rings with triumph in the end. Written by Demi, Chloe Angelides (“Cut You Off,” “Get On Your Knees“), and Sean Meyer, “Still Have Me” sees Demi picking up where “Anyone” left off. The January ballad showcased Demi yearning for someone to listen to her and validate her anguish and pain; this new song sees Demi beginning to put the pieces of herself back together and look inwards for that validation and strength. In the rousing chorus she sings “I don’t have much but at least I still have me.” Her voice is characteristically robust, but her delivery still shows a muted restraint that is in opposition to the all-out belting on “Anyone.” Set against a hopeful keyboard and guitar, Demi once again proves that she is one of the most emotive vocalists we have right now. The chorus is backed by layered background vocals from Demi, Chloe, and Sean, which adds a haunting choral effect that fully rounds out the song. The lack of a proper bridge, it’s mostly just wordless vocalizations mixed slightly below the instrumental, was a wise choice since the chorus is already so explosive that there isn’t that much left to build to.
“Still Have Me” is the best song Demi has released this year. It’s honest and cathartic, and, hopefully, it was a moment of true healing for her.