This song features cooing vocals from "Hide Away
" singer Daya. We hear the teenage songstress tell an untrustworthy boy that she needs him, and she pleads with him not to let her down. She comes a little unhinged, repeating, "I think I'm losin' my mind now" and admitting that it's in her head.
The star of this show is the squiggly synth that comes in after the first two choruses. It sounds like a galactic saxophone, providing a payoff after some claps, kick drum and percussion build throughout the chorus. It hits just as Daya sings the last "Don't let me down" in the chorus, and then she repeats that line during the instrumental break as the synthy sax continues.
The break after the third chorus is different: instead of the synth, a real saxophone part comes in, which keeps it fresh and adds an organic element to the song.
The production features that pulsing, synth-driven drop, but the song also sticks thanks to sheer title repetition: "Don't Let Me Down" is heard 26 times in the song, including several times near the end of the song as it resolves to a close.
Released as the EDM duo's first single since "Roses
" achieved chart success, Chainsmokers' Andrew Taggart said of the track to Billboard
magazine: "I think it's one of the best songs I've written and produced. I think people are going to be pretty blown away by it and it's very different than 'Roses', which is nice."
This song was co-written by Andrew Taggart of The Chainsmokers, Scott Harris, and Emily Warren. Harris explained to Songwriter Universe how the collaboration came to fruition. "Emily and I write together all the time," he said. "I've written more songs with her than anybody else by a lot. We just get each other and it's a really comfortable environment when we are together. She had done a song with The Chainsmokers and was basically like, we HAVE to work with them. We had a session in Drew's apartment and he played us the beginning of the track that eventually became 'Don't Let Me Down.' We had a brief conversation about not overthinking anything and Drew was the one who was quickly like, don't mess with that chorus, that's it! Me and Emily had just come back from Coachella and were talking about writing a song that could make people really feel something at a festival. Had no idea it would actually be that song."
The Chainsmokers revealed to Rolling Stone that Rihanna turned down the chance to record this song with them. However the duo was OK with the rejection as they enjoy collaborating with undervalued talent, such as the then up-and-coming Daya. Alex Pall explained, "Young unknown artists have this hunger – they're willing to work really hard."
Marcus Kuhne directed the video, which finds the Chainsmokers duo driving through the woods when they encounter Daya and her crew, which apparently have telekinetic powers. The girls won't let them down, levitating them against their will.
The Chainsmokers first got to know Emily Warren after picking up her breakup tune "Until You Were Gone." Drew Taggart set up a writing session with her and fellow songwriter Scott Harris, which resulted in this song. Warren told Billboard magazine the collaboration was an organic and a natural experience:
"Me and Scott [Harris] were at Drew's apartment in New York; he was living in New York at the time. It was really easy. I think the whole song came together in a couple of hours. Drew had a lot of energy, he had the whole track kind of nearly done at that point and was kind of picking out what we were doing and was just really positive to work with."
Though the lyrics were originally inspired by a crazy few days at Coachella, for Daya, the song is all about vulnerability in relationships. "Just knowing that someone is there for you at all times - no matter what - is just a comforting thought," she told Genius
. "That's the miracle that this song references. It's just about having wholesome trust and not being afraid to be vulnerable with someone."
This won for Best Dance Recording at the Grammy Awards in 2017.
Joy Williams, formerly of The Civil Wars, recorded a fragile piano version
for State Farm's "Following" commercial. Williams told Billboard
magazine that she was approached by State Farm to work on a song specifically for the ad and, being a fan of the Chainsmokers dance hit, she and State Farm settled on re-interpreting the tune in a way that really fitted "Following."