“Levels” by Avicii

Avicii’s “Levels” is a classic, even some would say the quintessential EDM track. And as such songs tend to go, the main emphasis is not intended to be on the lyrics. Or rather let’s say that such tunes, especially from the early-2010s, relied on actual wording as little as possible, rather preferring repetitiveness or terseness in that regard. 

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Avicii's Levels at Lyrics.org.

And with “Levels” we actually have both, as in the lyrics, being both terse and repetitive. That is to say that the only times words are spoken is during this song’s sole chorus. And that chorus only utilizes two lines being repeated and mixed. Those two lines, put together, basically read “sometimes I get a good feeling that I never had before”.

The said vocals are actually sampled from a track that came out approximately 50 years prior called “Something’s Got a Hold on Me”. And in that case, what the vocalist is speaking to is the concept of love. But as for “Levels”, all things considered we can put forth that the “feeling” Avicii is referring to would be the urge to dance carefreely, as in the  music video.

So conclusively, this is about as straight of a dance song as you can get. There isn’t any message or story being relayed therein. Instead the instrumental is extremely bouncy, and the few words which are uttered would logically be interpreted as an admonishment to boogie.

Lyrics to "Levels" by Avicii

Facts about “Levels”

The standard version of “Levels” is actually 5:39 in length. But the radio edit, i.e. the one that was released as a single on 28 July 2011 under the Universal Music Group, is approximately 3:20 long.

The working title of this track, i.e. when it was first played via BBC Radio in December of 2010, was “Unnamed”. And Avicii himself began playing it during March of 2011 under the title “ID”.

Avicii produced this song, in addition to being credited as one of its co-writers. His business manager at the time, Arash Pournouri, is also acknowledged in the latter regard. 

And the other authors of Levels” are:

  • Etta James (1938-2012)
  • Leroy Kirkland (d. 1988)
  • Pearl Woods

Actually, those three old timers didn’t contribute directly to the song but are the writers of “Something’s Got a Hold on Me” (1962) by Etta James, which is sampled onto the track. In fact the whole reason Avicii created “Levels” was based on a desire to utilize said sample.

Petro Papahadjopoulos directed the music video to this track, which was inspired by a 1999 American comedy film entitled Office Space.

Levels was a big hit not only for Avicii but also the entire EDM genre. Concerning the former, it is considered to be the artist’s signature tune. And as with the aforementioned Etta James and Leroy Kirkland, Avicii, as you probably already know, is also late as of the writing of this post. 

However, passing away at the age of 28, he died a lot younger than they did. His death unfortunately came as the result of self-inflicted wounds, even though he was a very popular musician at the time.


More Facts

“Levels” is the type of success story that any artist would be proud to have in their catalog. This is a song that Avicii never perceived as a hit. But a global smash it was, charting in nearly 30 nations. 

This included the tune reaching number one on Billboard US Dance Club Songs ranking. It also achieved this same feat in the UK Dance Chart and musical lists in a handful of other countries, including Avicii’s homeland of Sweden. And to note, it made it onto the top five of the UK Singles Chart.

Also speaking of Sweden, “Levels” has been certified eight-times platinum there. This is in addition to going multi-platinum in the UK, Australia and almost 10 countries overall. Also in terms of the US, it did receive RIAA-platinum certification. It was nominated for a Grammy in 2013.

Amongst the pop media appearances this song has made is being featured on the pilot episode of Arrow back in 2012. It was also sampled by Flo Rida on the track “Good Feeling” a year prior. 

Avicii discusses "Levels"

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like...