Linkin Park's new album One More Light features a sonic shift in their writing approach, focusing more on vocal melodies than their characteristic distorted guitars or counterpoint rapping. The result is a song that's precise enough to hurt, but vague enough to mean something different to every listener.
'Heavy' was written by band members Chester Bennington, Mike Shinoda and Brad Delson, along with Julia Michaels and Justin Tranter. This is the first time in Linkin Park's history that they've used songwriters outside of their own group.
The song's lyrics are about a person struggling with a large number of personal issues. The problem is that they're allowing them to get in the way of their daily lives and not letting go.
They feel that if they could only let go of these things, everything would be fine. However, that's not exactly an easy thing to do.
In fact, the song got a lot of backlash when it was first released, and many people found it to be too poppy. Luckily, the group re-recorded it in their Hybrid Theory and Meteora nu metal sound to respond to the negative criticism.
Kiiara appeared on the track, making it the first time that Linkin Park has ever featured a female vocalist in their studio recordings. Zane Lowe, a DJ from Apple Beats 1, introduced the singer to Shinoda, and she was immediately tapped to sing on the track.
The music video for the song also deals with similar themes, featuring frontman Chester Bennington at an Alcoholics Anonymous-styled meeting. He grapples with his demons, while Kiiara watches from under her hoodie.