Single - Avery Anna & Dylan Marlowe - I Will (When You Do)
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‘I Will (When You Do)’ by Avery Anna & Dylan Marlowe - Lyrics & Meaning

October 13, 2023 11:01 pm GMT
Last Edited December 19, 2023 11:44 am GMT

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Avery Anna & Dylan Marlowe - ‘I Will (When You Do)’

Label: Warner Music Nashville / Sony Music Nashville

Release Date: Friday October 13th 2023

Producer: David Fanning

Songwriters: Avery Anna, Dylan Marlowe, David Fanning, Abram Dean & Joe Fox

The Background:

In early October, two of country music's most exciting prodigies, Avery Anna and Dylan Marlowe, announced they'd be releasing a surprise collaboration, ‘I Will (When You Do)’.

Although this marked the first time the artists had joined forces, from the moment news of the duet broke, the respective fanbases were unanimous in voicing their excitement for the song.

Avery Anna has built a reputation for her blend of sinuous vocals and intricate, soul-baring lyricism, deftly knitting together an assortment of R&B, country and pop textures.

Similarly, Dylan Marlowe has earned a slew of fans through his combination of sleek production and a conversational, laid-back delivery that feels somewhat Parker McCollum-esque.

Billed as a song to “serve the sad girls AND sad boys”, ‘I Will (When You Do)’ is the perfect intersection between Anna and Marlowe's complementary yet distinct styles.

As Avery Anna and Dylan Marlowe continue their emergence within the genre, ‘I Will (When You Do)’ feels like a key marker-post in each artists’ ascent, with the stormy, conflicted duet undoubtedly set to become a keystone in their burgeoning discographies.

The Sound:

‘I Will (When You Do)’ begins with a simmering drum rhythm which jars against the soft, twinkling piano that persists throughout Dylan Marlowe's introductory verse.

Avery Anna joins Marlowe partway through this opening for a flurry of lustrous harmonies, with both artists injecting extra intensity as they launch into the electrifying hook.

Avery Anna takes the lead on the second part of ‘I Will (When You Do)’; it feels poignant that each artist is given their own solo verse before then joining together for the impassioned chorus.

Each verse offers the opportunity to present their contrasting perspectives on the break-up, which fosters the sense of discordance that led to the two protagonists parting ways in the first place.

However, when Avery Anna and Dylan Marlowe unite for the choruses, it seemingly represents how both storytellers still rely on one another, hence why it's so difficult for either to move on.

The relatively sparse instrumentation that accompanies each verse accentuates the crescendo that arrives with each hook. Avery Anna and Dylan Marlowe stare each other down over a sea of electric guitars, as we anxiously wait to see which one blinks first.

The Meaning:

“If you wanna know when I’ll stop leaving my stuff on purpose

Just so I can come back and get it when the sun stops burning

Take your name out of my phone

And the long way home

So I don’t pass your place

You say that you wanna know

When I’ll get moved on

I could ask you the same thing”

We get Dylan Marlowe's perspective first, as he implies his ex has been asking him when he's going to - at long last - get over her. At first, it seems Marlowe is simply being a hopeless romantic, leaving clothes at her house purely to give him an excuse to return.

The fact that he'll usually come back “when the sun stops burning” suggests these ‘accidental’ reunions only tend to be under the romantic, intimate cover of nightfall.

However, as the listener begins to assume Dylan Marlowe is the only one that remains invested in the relationship, we get the first hint that his ex is mirroring his attempts to stay in touch.

“I will when you do

But you won’t so I ain’t

Wish like hell that I could

Get you gone but I can’t”

As the chorus gets underway, it becomes apparent that both our protagonists are struggling to leave one another in the rearview mirror. They promise they'll stop trying to keep the flame flickering as soon as the other truly moves on, but this comes across as an empty promise, because the two vocalists’ lingering feelings for each other radiate throughout.

“Turn the light off on that front porch

Turn the lock when you knock on my door

If you wanna know when I’m gonna go and get over you, well

I will when you do

I will when you do”

Leaving the light on the front porch is a recurring image throughout country music, and is generally employed as a symbol of somebody's refusal to give up hope that their ex will return.

This scene-setting is powerfully utilised in ‘I Will (When You Do)’, with Dylan Marlowe and Avery Anna challenging one another to “turn the light off” and lock the door when their ex comes calling.

However, it's clear neither want to tear up what they still have, as it'll mean they'll have to stand by and watch the scraps of their relationship flutter away once and for all.

“Looking in your eyes is like a starless sky

I pretend I don’t know cause it’ll hurt to say goodbye

Where did we go wrong

How did we lose it all”

Avery Anna's verse highlights how she reciprocates Marlowe's persisting feelings, and in her trademark style, the Arizona native makes the listener feel as though they're eavesdropping on a deeply personal conversation. She confides that she tries to keep her feelings hidden from her ex and pretends not to care, because it'll only make it harder if the time comes to say goodbye once again.

Given these fireworks that fly whenever the two come together, Avery Anna questions how they let their relationship fall to pieces. The desire to start over underpins both Marlow and Anna's verses.

“When do we say, ‘Enough’

Who’s gonna take the blame

For a heart when it breaks

Who’s gonna give this up”

The emotional tug-of-war that continues throughout the song flits between being a warm, heartfelt confessional and a frosty, antagonistic stand-off, with each artist trying to pin the blame on the other.

“Oh, oh, who’s gonna wave that white flag

Oh, oh, who’s gonna leave and not come back

I will when you do

I will when you do”

By framing their relationship in terms of a battle where one lover needs to back down and “wave that white flag”, we get an insight into the possible reason why the couple split. Neither wants to take accountability for any of the mistakes made, and neither is comfortable being completely honest about the love that remains for one another.

This makes the story all the more enchanting, as the listener is given a birds-eye-view perspective of the relationship. Each character is portrayed in a way that feels real and flawed, while still drawing us in and ensuring we empathise with both Marlowe and Anna.

What has Avery Anna said about ‘I Will (When You Do)’?

Speaking ahead of the release, Avery Anna reflected on how ‘I Will (When You Do)’ came about, “The special thing about songwriting is you can go into a room and write with someone for the first time and come out with something that really touches you”.

The ‘Just Cause I Love You’ crooner went on to underline, “This was the first time Dylan and I wrote together. We both dug into what a push-and-pull relationship felt like and wrote ‘I Will (When You Do).’ I love this song, and I hope everybody else does too!”

For the full lyrics to Avery Anna and Dylan Marlowe’s ‘I Will (When You Do)’ see below:

“If you wanna know when I’ll stop leaving my stuff on purpose

Just so I can come back and get it when the sun stops burning

Take your name out of my phone

And the long way home

So I don’t pass your place

You say that you wanna know

When I’ll get moved on

I could ask you the same thing

I will when you do

But you won’t so I ain’t

Wish like hell that I could

Get you gone but I can’t

Turn the light off on that front porch

Turn the lock when you nock on my door

If you wanna know when I’m gonna go and get over you, well

I will when you do

I will when you do

Looking in your eyes is like a starless sky

I pretend I don’t see cause it’ll hurt to say goodbye

Where did we go wrong

How did we lose it all

When do we say enough

Who’s gonna take the blame

For a heart when it breaks

Who’s gonna give this up

I will when you do

But you won’t so I ain’t

Wish like hell that I could

Get you gone but I can’t

Turn the light off on that front porch

Turn the lock when you nock on my door

If you wanna know when I’m gonna go and get over you, well

I will when you do

I will when you do

Oh oh who’s gonna wave that white flag

Oh oh who’s gonna leave and not come back

I will when you do

I will when you do

I will when you do

But you won’t so I ain’t

Wish like hell that I could

Get you gone but I can’t

Turn the light off on that front porch

Turn the lock when you knock on my door

If you wanna know when I’m gonna go and get over you

I will when you do

I will when you do

I will

I will

I will when you do”

For more on Avery Anna, see below:

Written by Maxim Mower
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