Withdrawals

Album: Suffer in Peace (2015)

Songfacts®:

  • This urgent plea for a lover to return was penned by Josh Kear, Gordie Sampson and Hillary Lindsey. Farr cut the tune after the Florida Georgia Line duo heard the singer's cover of AWOLNATION's "Sail" and told him he should record a song that started as high as the rock number.
  • Josh Kear already had the title when he started writing the song at his Music Row office with Hillary Lindsey and Gordie Sampson. Kear also brought the first two lines "You were like whiskey running through my veins," and "You were that first sweet taste of Mary Jane." "That piece could have been a proper verse, that could have been the chorus, that could've been anything," Lindsey recalled to Billboard magazine. "It was just like a little nugget that he had. And he knew those lyrics were leading toward, you know, withdrawals."

    That first coupling developed into a 38-second vocal intro to kick off the song.

    The threesome wrote another section, then ended up at a chorus in which three of the last four lines repeated the phrase "I'm going through withdrawals" over and over. "We hit on that ending, and it just felt right," said Kear. "I think that was one of the few things about the song that just happened, and we were all good with it right away."

    The trio returned to the song during a second writing session, where they added a new stanza and a two-line bridge - "I'm going through withdrawals," repeated twice. "Our intro essentially is our bridge, so adding yet another new melody section felt like too much," explained Kear. "So we tried to do the simplest thing that worked."
  • Tyler Farr: "The song has so much tension and angst. It's like the guy is going through withdrawals over a woman, and there's nothing he can do about it."
  • Other songs that view a personal relationship as an addiction include B.J. Thomas' "Hooked On A Feeling," Robert Palmer's "Addicted To Love," Simple Plan's "Addicted," Roxy Music's "Love Is The Drug," Kenny Chesney's "You and Tequila" and A Thousand Horses' "Smoke."
  • The emotionally dark video was shot in Nashville and directed by Eric Welch, who has also shot music clips for Steve Holy ("Love Don't Run") and Lee Brice "I Drive Your Truck").

    The visual shows Farr trapped in a glass case that fills with smoke and water. Farr explained that going through old videos from Nine Inch Nails helped influence the music clip's aesthetic. ""I chose to record 'Withdrawals' because of its raw emotion," he said. "So when I was trying to come up with a concept that would fit the song perfectly, I wanted the video to reflect the anguish of the lyrics."

    "When we were trying to come up with visuals to help explain the emotion, we looked at footage of Trent Reznor performances in NIN music videos, art galleries of people in glass boxes, and then tried our best to put those against the lyrics of the song," Farr continued. "What came out in the end is exactly what I had in my head."

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