“Follow You” by Imagine Dragons

There is a true-to-life backstory to Imagine Dragon’s “Follow You” pertaining to Dan Reynolds, who is recognized as its primary author. And to make a long story short, at one point it appeared as if his marriage to his wife, singer Aja Volkman, was over. 

Take for instance the fact that they hadn’t spoken to each other for a seven-month timespan. But ultimately they were able to resolve their differences and even retake their marriage vows.

Throughout the process, what the singer learned is that love is not a perfect affair. Or put otherwise, people may make their mistakes or have their recurring flaws. And how he wanted to reflect that idea in the song is by “represent(ing) a love that is realistic”, not perfect. 

But what’s most important, as far as true love is concerned, is that the relationship endures. Or as he puts it inside the song itself he is willing to “follow” his sweetheart. This basically means he has decided to remain by her side, wherever life may take her.

Addressee Messed Up?

More specifically, since we already know the backstory we can say that yes, it does read like the addressee in particular may have made some errors in dealing with the singer. For example, in the first verse, the line “taking those losses if it treats you right”, sounds like another way of saying that ‘you learn from your mistakes’. 

And beyond that he asserts his desire to “put (her) into the spotlight”, meaning that he’s ready to love and even exalt her regardless of what may have transpired in the past.

Narrator also made some mistakes in the Relationship?

Meanwhile the pre-chorus sounds as if he may be acknowledging his own mistakes. Or put metaphorically, he perceives that she has been experiencing “heart attack every night”, as in going through her own perpetual suffering. 

And it could be theorized that he’s the one who caused it. But said phrase can also be interpreted, considering the line that precedes it, is another allusion to the addressee perhaps feeling suppressed/depressed due to her own personal issues.

That idea is buttressed in the second verse, when the singer recognizes that his sweetheart is “disappointed in (her)self”.  And he also goes on to more or less confirm our theory about the first verse, i.e. she is learning from her mistakes. 

But furthermore this time around he asserts that he “wants to take (her) into the sunlight”. Said line also reads like the conclusion of the first verse where the singer used the aforementioned “spotlight” metaphor. 

And what these statements would logically mean, in light of everything we know, is that he wants to help her overcome her self-guilt and also restore their relationship.

Addressee has serious Personal Issues

In the bridge of the song, it is revealed that the mistake she’s been making all along doesn’t have anything to do with their romance per se. Rather what she is guilty of is not ‘giving herself enough love’. 

The singer further goes on to hint that the addressee is in fact feeling suppressed, though it is the type of suppression which results from her own internal reservations. And whereas he wishes he “could fix it”, at the end of the day he isn’t a psychologist or anything like that. So rather his solution, once again, is to remain by her side and serve as her support system.

Conclusion

So all facts considered, we can say that this song is a bit self-righteous. Dan penned it after he and his wife got back together after an almost year-long hiatus in their relationship. 

And if she is in fact the addressee, he doesn’t seem to take any actual responsibility for their union almost coming apart. And that is pretty contradictory in terms of how, when describing this song, he went on to state that “she was endlessly patient with” him instead of vice versa, which is how this song reads.

Indeed the lyrics come off more like she was the one that messed up. But it wasn’t necessarily any fault of her own. Instead it is due to a personality flaw, if you will, where she is unable to truly be and love herself. 

And the singer doesn’t seem definitively convinced that she will ever be able to overcome that condition, which may lead to a less-than-ideal relationship. But whether or not she does is ultimately beside the point. For he has resolved nonetheless to “follow her” regardless.

Lyrics of "Follow You"

Facts about “Follow You”

As of the release of this track, on 12 March 2021, the Imagine Dragons are using the same lineup that they have had since mid-2011. And that would be as follows:

  • Frontman Dan Reynolds
  • Drummer Daniel Platzman
  • Guitarist Wayne Sermon
  • Bassist Ben McKee 

And it is Reynolds who is the longest-tenured, having been a member of the crew since its inception in 2008.

The first time Imagine Dragons teased this track was on 8 March, a few days prior to its release. And when it did come out, it came out via Interscope Records and another label called KIDinaKORNER.

And the four aforementioned members of the band are individually credited as writers of this song. They accomplished this task alongside Elley Duhé, Fransisca Hall and the producer of the track, Joel Little.

Imagine Dragons actually released two songs, “Follow You” and another called “Cutthroat”, concurrently. 

These songs make the first new music they’ve put out since their 2018 album “Origins”, which reached number 2 on the Billboard 200. 

And it is speculated that these two songs will serve as a leads single from a forthcoming studio album, which will be their fifth. Said project is untitled as of the issuance of the track, but it is something which the band is known to have been working on for three years.

Dan Reynolds and Aja Volkman

Dan Reynolds married Aja Volkman in March of 2011. Together they’ve had three children between 2012 and 2019. According to Reynolds, sometime between 2018 and 2020 the two of them were very much on the verge of divorce. However, they did make peace.

And the peace started with a text message she sent him that read “she didn’t need to own (him) to love (him)” as well as she affirming that she “loved (him) without expectations”. And Reynolds went on to explain that he composed “Follow You” after receiving the aforementioned text from Aja. Apparently that would also be the moment they got back together.

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