John Mayer
New Music Friday

John Mayer told you this was coming, or something like it, if you were really paying attention.

In Complex’s Nov. 2018 cover story that paired Mayer with famed Fear of God designer Jerry Lorenzo, the Grammy Award-winner said the following:

“As I got to the end of my second month without finishing a song, going in the studio every day, I went, ‘What’s going on? What am I best at?’ Not, ‘What am I just good at?’ And that meant giving up a little bit of this idea of me being at the top of the radio charts or continually putting out stuff that everybody’s 15-year-old daughter was going to love. … It wasn’t making me happy. I wasn’t loving what I was hearing. And then I had this moment where I was like, ‘Put the MPC away for a minute. Bring out a tape machine, an acoustic guitar. What do you do? You make log cabins.’

“So I sat down, and I wrote a song. It’s called ‘I Guess I Just Feel Like,’ and it’s this really honest confrontation with how it feels. “I guess I just feel like good things are gone. I guess I just feel like nobody’s honest, nobody’s true, and everyone’s lying just to make it through. I guess I just feel like I’m the same way, too.’ There’s no politics in it. There’s nothing you could listen to and go, ‘Wait. Wait…’ I’m trying now to just do what I always did, which is just go to the heart of something.”

What he always did is what he has again done with his new single titled “Carry Me Away,” released on Friday. The song’s accompanying video shows the 41-year-old in his studio with the aforementioned acoustic guitar, with his cuddly dog, building a little log cabin. “Carry Me Away” won’t hit the radio, but it did hit the heart of something.

Mayer has been on his 27-date North American tour since July 19. The “life and energy” his fans have given him at each stop throughout fueled his desire to bunker down and give them an honest soundtrack to remember what they have experienced together, he disclosed in an Instagram post announcing the track.

The first verse begins with Mayer bluntly posting, “I’m such a bore / I’m such a bummer / There must be more / Behind the summer.”

The sentiment is ironic, considering Mayer is at his least boring when he’s thinking aloud like this. He wants to be carried away by someone who’s “just the kind of crazy I’ve been looking for,” and a quaint song like this could be just enough to nudge listeners into fantasising for themselves.

Mayer’s successful tour paired with “Carry Me Away” reiterate that while younger artists (the most directly made comparison being Shawn Mendes) are fronting the industry, he’s not going anywhere—firmly rooted in the intimate songwriting that propelled him to music’s top-tier in the first place.

Take in “Carry Me Away” in all its simplicity below:

Words by Megan Armstrong

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