Barely Breathing (1996) :: Duncan Sheik
“I believed in your confusion,
so completely torn,
must have been that yesterday,
was the day that I was born.”
About the song:
Barely Breathing is the first single from the Gold-plus debut album of American singer-songwriter Duncan Sheik.
Originally intended as a “throwaway” track written to complete the album, Barely Breathing became Sheik’s breakout hit, entering the top 20 of the U.S. Billboard charts, peaking at # 16, and holding steady for 55 weeks. Barely Breathing also hit # 19 on the Hot Adult Contemporary chart. At the time, it was the fourth longest-running single in the Hot 100. It ranked # 88 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of the 90’s, and # 8 on their 40 Greatest One-Hit Wonders of the 90’s list.
Additionally, Barely Breathing earned Sheik a BMI Award for Most Played Song of the Year in 1997 and a Grammy nomination for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance in 1998.
A break-up song extraordinaire, I once made a get over your heartbreak, make music your boyfriend, epic mix for a friend who was going through a bad break-up. It feels to me like the song encapsulates all the feelings when being heartbroken, and being the one who is having to get over it, perfectly.
Duncan Sheik is a favorite artist of mine, and though this is not my favorite song of is (In the Absence of Sun is), it is certainly one I’ve clung to, cried to, and looked to while trying to survive a broken heart. I know I have turned it up to the loudest of volumes and scream-sang-a-long to it, and also shed ugly tears to it, many times before. We all need that go-to song, or songs, I think – and this is top of my “survive a break-up” list.