The lulling piano music begins softly — timid yet comforting. A soothing voice washes over the listener, calming their worries and drenching them with a feeling of warmth and loving words.
Ben Platt’s new single, “So Will I,” was released Friday. Written with Michael Pollack and produced by FINNEAS, Platt said the entire song was made remotely during quarantine. The single follows the release of Platt’s debut album, “Sing to Me Instead,” from last year and showcases many identifying characteristics of his music.
Platt said he reached out to FINNEAS with the mere hope that he would see the message, but FINNEAS responded instantly.
“When Ben asked me to produce this song, I wanted to say yes immediately before even listening to it,” FINNEAS said in an Instagram caption. “But I thought that would be unprofessional, so I listened to 45 seconds of it, and THEN said yes.”
The song follows the style, in both music and lyrics, of several tracks from Platt’s previous album. In likeness with “Grow As We Go” and “Run Away,” the new single seeks to comfort listeners.
“Well, I can’t fight your battles / But I sure can hold your hand and promise you,” Platt sings, leading into the chorus. “That the sky will still be up there / And the sun will always shine / The stars will keep on fallin’ / For the ones who wish at night.”
A soulful choir comes into the background during the chorus, as Platt has used in several songs before, such as “Ease My Mind” and “New.” Yet, this choir is different. It’s soft yet powerful, impactful but not overwhelming.
The new single includes signature Platt riffs, which became somewhat of a trademark when he starred as the titular role in “Dear Evan Hansen” on Broadway. The song features another common theme in Platt’s work: a loud and passionate bridge that suddenly gives way to his smooth, quiet falsetto.
Platt also released a lyric video for “So Will I.” The video features a cartoon drawing of a neighborhood. As the song progresses, the neighborhood moves through different seasons, such as falling snow in the winter, flying birds in the springtime and brilliant summer sunsets. This artwork enhances the theme of the song. Through all the seasons of life, the singer will be there for whoever he’s singing to; the world isn’t going anywhere, and neither is he.
“So Will I” has many meanings and applies to multiple situations. Considering the worry and unrest regarding the coronavirus, Platt’s single may bring newfound comfort to those experiencing fears and anxiety. During an Instagram live stream, Platt shared why he wrote the single.
“I was feeling the way most people are feeling … everything felt very heavy,” Platt said on the live stream. “And I thought, you know, how can I write a song that can be about the moment that’s happening but also live beyond the moment?”
He said the lyrics help calm down the listener, giving comforting answers to all the questions asked in the song, which he thinks “are good things to hold on to when everything feels a little bit crazy and like you have nothing to hold on to.”
Platt said he invoked some life lessons into the single, especially in his favorite lyric: “You say, ‘What if someone leaves me / And they leave me empty-handed?’ / I say, ‘Losing only teaches you / to not take things for granted.’”
He said he felt indescribable joy when writing this line and told his livestream audience that it’s a calming truth to remember during a time when many may be feeling a sense of loss.
In a world that feels like it’s slipping away, Platt comforts his audience, reassuring them that this hardship isn’t forever.
He sings, “The mountains won’t start moving / And the rivers won’t run dry / The world will always be there / And so will I.”
Contact Charlotte Matherly at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more on the culture, arts and lifestyle of the JMU and Harrisonburg communities, follow the culture desk on Twitter @Breeze_Culture.