Nick Romano
December 23, 2016 AT 09:58 AM EST

Ryan Adams has dropped the second single off his Prisoner album, “To Be Without You,” while reflecting on how the record saved his life from “total f–king darkness.”

“It broke my soul into a zillion pieces writing this,” he wrote of Prisoner in an Instagram post. “This record mattered more to me than any record before it and my life depended on making it. I would have died inside if I hadn’t. I was broken. I don’t know what it is. But I know I had to write it and I know I have to sing these songs so I can live and keep living and breathing. It’s all I know how to do.”

“It’s a map for anybody who got lost like I get lost,” he added. “It’s hope for anybody who’s forgotten what that is. These songs are part of me but they’re now part of anyone who needs them. Records should matter. They do when people need them most. This was my way through total f–king darkness and things nobody can plan for. I’ll never come as close as this to that place. I won’t have to.”

See his full message below.

This is the second single from PRISONER, my new album. It's out FEBRUARY 17 ON PAX-AM/BLUE NOTE It's called “TO BE WITHOUT YOU” It broke my soul in a zillion pieces writing this. This record mattered more to me than any record before it and my life depended on making it. I would have died inside if I hadn't. I was broken. I don't know what it is. But I know I had to write it and I know I have to sing these songs so I can live and keep living and breathing. It's all I know how to do. It's who I am. It's what I want to leave here so one day when I'm old and gone I contributed something to this place. It's a map for anybody who got lost like I get lost. It's hope for anybody who's forgotten what that is. These songs are part of me but they're now part of anyone who needs them. Records should matter. They do when people need them most. This was my way through total fucking darkness and things nobody can plan for. I'll never come as close as this to that place. I won't have to. I love RocknRoll and there's times it's saved my life. This is the time it saved me from devastation so my life could be worth living for. Songs and Records were my best friend before I could play guitar. I hope these find their way to good homes and people who need them. Long live PaxAm. Keep fighting for good. Keep your hearts alive. XO Ryan Adams Dec 23rd "To Be Without You" AVAILABLE NOW AT https://ryanadams.lnk.to/ToBeWithoutYou ALSO Prisoner Pre-Order Live At: http://ryanadams.lnk.to/Prisoner Sign Up For A Chance At The Limited Edition Prisoner Mystery Box: http://bit.ly/paxammystery

A post shared by Ryan Adams (@misterryanadams) on

Adams recently swore off cover albums, after covering Taylor Swift’s 1989 in 2015. He announced Prisoner for release on Feb. 17 with a track list that also includes the eponymous song he released as a single earlier this month. (It’s certainly one we’re anxious to hear in full.)

“I think the challenge for me — the Everest peak, for me — is to tell this story in [12] songs, to tell this part of my life in [12] songs,” Adams told EW in a previous interview. “How do I make a real distinct record where anybody listens to it and says, ‘That’s the truth from beginning to end.’ So it’s like exercise. It sucks in the beginning. But then you get into it.”

Prisoner is available for pre-order now. Listen to “To Be Without You” in the video above.

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