The singer has shared a new single, River in the Sky, on her Instagram page, and it’s a beautiful listen.
Back in 2008, Duffy’s debut album Rockferry was such a hit that it went on to win the singer a slew of awards, including a Grammy, an Ivor Novello and a Brit. Tracks included Mercy, Warwick Avenue and Stepping Stone – all total tunes. In 2010, Duffy released her follow-up album, Endlessly. But then, despite all this fresh success, we didn’t hear from the singer again until 2020.
In an online statement, Duffy explained the long hiatus to fans, sharing distressing details about being “raped, drugged and kept captive” for period during that time. Although it was a truly distressing read, it was also an essential one: the singer was praised by campaigners and trauma experts for inspiring other victims to come forward and informing potential jury members about the impact of trauma.
But after “thousands and thousands of days committed to wanting to feel the sunshine in my heart again,” she says, “the sun does now shine”. Although Duffy will likely always carry this trauma, she has since continued to share messages of hope throughout the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.
Sharing new music with people in isolation when we first went into lockdown, Something Beautiful was played exclusively on Jo Wiley’s BBC 2 radio show.
In an accompanying letter read out by Wiley, Duffy wrote: “It’s just something for you to play people on [the] radio during these troubling times, if you like the song of course. If it lifts spirits. I don’t plan to release it, I just thought a little something might be nice for people if they are at home on lockdown.”
Then later, in an Instagram post, she went on to address the mix of emotions that people experienced when hearing Boris Johnson’s lockdown rules. “You may or may not have read my words,” she wrote. “I found them to be liberating. And so I would sincerely like to know, how are you?”
“I want to create a post where you can talk openly about how you are doing. I invite you to write here, if you would like that. I look forward to reading how you are, about your life, and current experiences. For you to share your stories visibly with others too, here.”
And now, while continuing to lift spirits and hope, Duffy has shared a new record, River in the Sky. Uploading it to an Instagram video on Thursday 18 June, she captioned it: “For the better days to come, Duffy.”
Take a moment to listen to River in the Sky below.
Fans are sharing their love for the new track, and rightly so. It’s Duffy back to what she does best: creating emotionally raw and beautiful music with her distinctively soulful voice.
Hopefully, there are a lot more songs to come. But, for now, we’ll be listening to this on repeat.
If you, or anyone you know, needs help and support, you can call the Rape Crisis national helpline on 0808 802 9999 (open 12pm - 2.30pm and 7pm - 9.30pm daily). You can also find your nearest centre here or visit the website for more information here.