David Cook Finds Inspiration for ‘Gimme Heartbreak’ Through Halsey

With the release of his new single, “Gimme Heartbreak,” “American Idol” Season 7 winner David Cook feels like he is “cracking the spine on a new chapter” — his musical evolution.

In crafting the lyrics, where Cook sings of a former lover being the equivalent of “death in a black dress,” Cook tells Variety he made a “a conscious effort going into the production to incorporate more cinematic pop elements.” Taking inspiration from recent releases — “I was listening to Halsey’s  ‘Badlands’ record,” he reveals — Cook also leaned on “old standbys like Nine Inch Nails and Massive Attack” to find “vibes” for a new direction.

“The whole song represents unhealthy relationships that, for some reason, you don’t want to get out of,” says Cook. “I have certainly had my share of them. It felt like a good narrative to go with.”

Lyrically, he adds, “It was a patchwork song. I had all these little two-line imagery things I wanted to play with. You get the music all sorted out and suddenly it was like putting puzzle pieces down to try and make a match. I think the end result is something that is moody, dark, with a ton of imagery and those are the kinds of songs I really resonate with.”

The song is already resonating with his audience, who called for “Gimme Heartbreak: repeatedly at the singer’s July 12 show at The Wonder Bar in Asbury Park, NJ. “We are going to play it later,” the singer joked, as he powered through a set of songs leaning heavily on his previous effort, “Digital Vein.”

Cook honored that time of his life — the years following his “Idol” win in 2009, by playing the single “Come Back to Me,” and paying tribute to memory of the late Chris Cornell, who co-authored Cook’s 2009 single, “Light On.”

“I feel honored and blessed to play it,” he told the audience. “I hope he’s listening.”

The Missouri-born singer’s show went off without a hitch, despite…

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