Demi Lovato’s ‘Substance’ Evokes Old School Pop-Punk

words by Emily Smith

I am not going to lie, when Demi Lovato announced that their next album would be deliving away from their pop roots I was a bit apprehensive. I had only listened to all of their 2020s music and was a massive fan of their last album.

However, as soon as I heard ‘SKIN OF MY TEETH’ I knew that this was the music they were destined to make. This whole genre really does fit their vocal range. I was shocked to find out that they were releasing another song from the album. Substance is probably my most played song on my Spotify right now.

Substance can be interpreted in two ways: one that they talk about using substances or that they’re looking for connection with someone. Lovato confirmed that in a recent interview that they wrote the song in mind that it’s written from the perspective that they’re looking for a meaningful connection.

Still from the “SKIN OF MY TEETH” music video

I think either way you interpret the song, we all can relate to it in a way which is why I think their new music is more genuine than it used to be. This new music is coming from a place of recovery or how to deal with mental illness. We all struggle with mental health which is what Substance perfectly talks about in it’s lyrics. The lyrics “Am I the only one looking for substance?” asks the question “is their someone that can relate to what your going through?”

Lovato went through a whole ordeal with her mental health and many of her fans believe that their new album HOLY FVCK will delve into this. The song is the second single to come from the album and has a pop-punk feel to it. Lovato delivers quick-paced melodic lines right from the start with the lyrics “Is anybody happy with life in the backseat.” They use a lot of f-bombs and profanity, adding more of an angry tone and maybe some may say a more personal tone to the song.

The whole vibe of the music video is very nostalgic as well. The video takes you back to the late 1990s and early 2000s. Cody Critcheloe who directed the video said that the song just puts a ‘modern twist’ on this genre people love.

In the music video, Demi stomps into a board meeting, meets some pals at dinner, and gets wild at a house party. Lovato going into the baord meeting and smashing all the discs could be interpreted as her finishing an old era and starting a new one with this new sound. The video ends with a cameo from the 2000s reality queen herself Paris Hilton. The song is just perfect – it’s a summer song you can scream in the car and what can be better than that!

Along with “Substance,” the singer has shared the album’s complete track list, which includes collaborations with Yungblood, Royal & The Serpent, and Dead Sara.

“The process of making this album has been the most fulfilling yet, and I’m grateful to my fans and collaborators for being on this journey with me,” Lovato shared in a statement on Instagram.

“Never have I been more sure of myself and my music, and this record speaks that for itself. To my Lovatics who have been rocking out with me since the beginning and those who are just now coming along for the ride, thank you. This record is for you.”

Demi Lovato

To support the album, Lovato will tour in North and South America this fall. The 32-date tour kicks off Aug. 13 in Springfield, IL at the Illinois State Fair and wraps in Irving, TX at The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory on Nov. 6. Dead Sara and Royal & The Serpent will open select dates.

If the first two singles from Holy Fvck is anything to go by then I can’t wait for it all to be released on August 19th. Us Lovatics are in for a treat!

Holy Fvuk Track List:

1. Freak (ft. Yungblud)
2. Skin of My Teeth
3. Substance
4. Eat Me (ft. Royal & The Serpent)
6. 29
7. Happy Ending
8. Heaven
9. City of Angels
10. Bones
11. Wasted
12. Come Together
13. Dead Friends
14. Help Me (ft. Dead Sara)
15. Feed
16. 4 Ever 4 Me

If you or anyone you know is suffering from mental health please know that there’s help available for you.


UK –

Africa –

Asia –

Australia –

New Zealand –


1 thought on “Demi Lovato’s ‘Substance’ Evokes Old School Pop-Punk

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close