Surprise! Shawn Mendes released a new single, “What the Hell Are We Dying For?,” at midnight on Friday.
The track marks the 24-year-old’s comeback to the music scene as his first new release of 2023 after taking a break last summer to prioritize his mental health.
“Smoke in the air, the city’s burning down,” he begins the song, before questioning in the chorus, “If we don’t love like we used to, if we don’t care like we used to, what the hell are we dying for?”
With just four hours notice, Mendes announced the new track on social media, sharing a picture of the Manhattan skyline engulfed in orange-toned smoke that was a result of the fires in Canada. Over it, read the title of new track.
While many were happy to see the “Stiches” singer back with some new tunes, there was also some backlash surrounding the imagery used.
“ppl are dying in wildfires n getting sick by the poor air quality n u rlly [sic] decided to make it ur aesthetic?” one Instagram user commented, while another said, “Why are you trying to profit off a natural disaster.”
Others seemed to make light of the situation, with one user writing, “did you start the wildfires to promo your album? Be honest.”
Another added, “He really used the fire smoke in NY lmaoooooo.”
“What the Hell Are We Dying For?” is available to stream now.
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