The last time John Mayer released new music, it was 2013 and the then thirty-five-year-old was ready to finally return to being a full-time touring musician with the release of Paradise Valley. The country rock album was his first album release since returning from a two-year absence from playing live due to a granuloma in his throat, and saw the return of pop-rock's favorite former Lothario under the “Mayer Is Back” campaign.
That was before he joined forces with the Grateful Dead family by impressively stepping in for the late Jerry Garcia. Mayer would go on to spend the summer of 2015 and 2016 becoming an honorary family member of the most dedicated, and enduring fanbase in popular music history.
Over the past few months, Mayer, who turns forty this October, has begun to re-establish the return of the John Mayer Trio, on top of putting the finishing touches on his new album, The Search For Everything. Recently, Mayer announced that the release of his first solo record with Trio members Pino Palladino and Steve Jordan since 2009’s Battle Studies would be released gradually in waves, and that first batch of four songs arrived on Friday.
In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Mayer talks about the strategy behind releasing the album in phases, saying, "The price of admission is four songs. If you don't like these, don't get the next four. But if I've engendered some kind of trust that you think I'm onto something, get the next four, and come along with me on every single wave."
He went on to break down each of the album’s four new songs, which vary in style from the more relaxed pop his now older millennial fans are used to hearing with “Love On The Weekend” and “Changing,” to a page out of the sad-songs-from-a-Pixar-movies playbook with the emotionally cinematic “You’re Gonna Live Forever In Me.”
“The reason I love L.A. is because it's the world's greatest backdrop for love,” He said about Los Angeles' influence behind the album’s first single in “Love On The Weekend.” “There is a culture here of the lovers' getaway, and most of my jealousy as a single man is about not being able to go to the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur or the San Ysidro Ranch in Santa Barbara."
As for the very intimate “You’re Gonna Live Forever In Me,” Mayer said. "It's the only song that comes on and I get physically anxious. It's so open and revealing.” He would go on to also add, "I sat at the piano for hours teaching myself how the song might go.” According to the singer, the song was recorded in one night, to which he commented, “what you hear on the song is the original take. I couldn't sing the vocals again if I tried. It would be like the second snowball fight in Groundhog's Day.”
The first wave of songs from The Search For Everything can be heard below.