‘Did You Even Know’ is the latest single by Sweetlove and is taken from the EP ‘Goodnight, Lover’ which is out on March 26th. You wouldn’t necessarily know it from the uplifting production (courtesy of Justin Glasco from The Lone Bellow), of ‘Goodnight, Lover,’ but the EP was written while Sweetlove was grappling with the deaths of three of her closest people within one year – her oldest friend, her longtime love, and her cousin.
Sweetlove is the daughter of a preacher and a teacher, and grew up in California’s Simi Valley. Raised in a Pentecostal church, she was surrounded by live music – singing and dancing to worship songs and hymns, finding joy in the communal melodies. As she got older and moved away from organized religion, her music-filled that spiritual space.
Sweetlove told us about the new single – this is the full story, it seemed important not to abbreviate it: “Did You Even Know” is about wishing that someone could see in themselves what you see in them. It’s about being blindsided by something ending that you thought would last forever, and what you wouldn’t give to go back and have even just a little more time. It’s about the beautiful moments that make up how you love someone, and how you miss them when it’s over. It’s about the last time I saw a longtime love of mine, and the last time we spent together, months before he took his own life and shattered everyone that knew him. He was this beautiful, wild, brilliant light, and the fact that he couldn’t see and feel how much he was loved broke my heart. The thing about mental illness is that it lies to you and tells you that you will forever be in darkness, that you are unreachable, and that people would be better off without you. I’ve suffered from terrible depression myself and I know so well that hopeless feeling. If you haven’t experienced it, you can’t imagine how dark it feels. Thankfully, I’ve had the resources and support to spend years working through what led to these feelings, and today, finally my outlook is very different. But it was a long, road to get here, and not everyone has those resources, or they don’t know how to ask for help, or they ask and they don’t get the help they need. I think for men in particular, they have a difficult time asking for help and being vulnerable when they are struggling, and that isolates them even further. I recently read on the CDC website that 30% of the deaths of men 44 and under are by suicide. That’s a horrifying number. And veterans take their own lives at a rate of 1.5 more times than non-veterans. The statistics alone are heart-wrenching, but I can tell you as someone who represents someone who loved even a singular one of those numbers, the effects of this loss were staggering, and permanent, and it’s unthinkable to me that this happens to tens of thousands of families every year. We need to do better. We need to find better ways to feel connected, to lift each other up. We need to make mental health care something that isn’t luxury, or a stigma for those who need it most. We need to let the light in so people around us can feel like love is shining on them. ‘Did You Even Know’ is all the regret I feel about the last time I was with this man that I loved, that I didn’t know it would be the last time. And even if the thing that you have lost isn’t under these circumstances, I think we can all relate to knowing someone (or being someone) who can’t see the love around them, or losing something we can’t imagine is gone, and wishing we could go back and have one more day, one more hour, another moment to share.”
(Can also be streamed here)
Photo: Anna Azarov