Behind John Mayer’s “I Guess I Just Feel Like”

John Mayer has never shied away from saying how he truly feels through his songs, but his recent single ‘I Guess I Just Feel Like’ is the artist stripped down to the core. This is his first track since his 2018 hit single ‘New Light’, but this time, his only goal is to be honest.

“I’ve never released a song before where my only ambition was to be understood, and maybe to make others feel understood in the process,” Mayer shared on Instagram. Indeed, Mayer takes a familiar introspective look at the current chaotic state of the world, searching for truth in his track. The new song opens with the lines “I guess I just feel like/I guess I just feel like/Nobody’s honest, nobody’s true/Everyone’s lying, to make it on through/I guess I just feel like/I’m the same way too.”

In an Instagram post preceding the track’s release, Mayer pulls back the curtain and shows us his process behind conceptualizing the song. “I spent August and September of last year looking for new songs and couldn’t find them,” the songwriter confesses. “I was thinking with my ultra-aesthetic brain, trying to write the tune I thought would be cool to have via sequences, plugins and effects.” A process that hardly ever works for him, Mayer remarks.

“Then one day in October I decided I’d had just about enough of myself, and that’s where the good stuff starts,” he goes on to say. “I got two inexpensive microphones, a 1″ tape machine and took out my Martin D-45 guitar. ‘I’m just going to do what I do’, I remember thinking. And then it all clicked again.”

 

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#tbt I spent August and September of last year looking for new songs and couldn’t find them. I was thinking with my ultra-aesthetic brain, trying to write the tune I thought would be cool to have via sequencers, plugins and effects. (That process has worked barely enough times to still make it justifiable.) Then one day in October I decided I’d had just about enough of myself, and that’s always when the good stuff starts. I got two inexpensive microphones, a 1” tape machine and took out my Martin D-45 guitar. “I’m just going to do what I do,” I remember thinking. And then it all clicked again. I wrote most of “I Guess I Just Feel Like” in an hour. It’s great luck that my friend @daniel happened to stop by to take some photos the day this song was written. The moral of the story? Honesty is the best technology. I can’t wait for you to hear it tonight.

A post shared by John Mayer 💎 (@johnmayer) on

The track features a country vibe, and has plenty of the musician’s sweet, bluesy guitar pining. The single is akin to the material found in his 2012 album Born and Raised, showcasing the best from the authentic crooner. After a staggering revival on his recent hit ‘New Light’, reportedly Mayer’s best single in a decade, he follows it up with this insightful tune about outrage fatigue that could not be more distinct. This track is different from his most recent hit releases, even telling a Burbank audience who first heard the song, “There’s nothing hit like about it.”

His recent track sees him harkening back to his roots and showcasing him in a vulnerable, decidedly-not-chart-topping song. A true return to form, the song showcases the best of what makes his music unique, which includes his simple, steady gear that help him achieve his sound. Alongside his guitar, the most enduring pedal in Mayer’s lineup is the Ibanez TS808 Tube Screamer. This is what pushes the glorious clean guitar tone into the smooth overdrive that he’s known for. In the end however, the songwriter reminds us that simple gear is only half the battle. Mayer ends his perceptive Instagram post by saying, “The moral of the story? Honesty is the best technology.”

Rolling Stone reports that John Mayer’s solo 2019 U.S. Summer Tour is currently on going, so be sure to check him out if he is playing in your city.

Valarie Cullina

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