This folk-flavored soft ballad finds Mayer duetting with Katy Perry. The pair had been dating on and off since the summer of 2012 and it finds the twosome trading verses about their love for each other. This was the first musical collaboration between the couple.
Perry sings, "You're the one I love," to close the track before bursting into a giggle. "I think that's just a love giggle," she explained to SiriusXM Hits 1. "It's like the ones that Mariah Carey had in 1990 and stuff like that. Yeah, I think I was going for that, I think I was just so happy, I love that song."
John Mayer told Billboard magazine that he wanted to write a melodic and confessional song about accepting who you love. "I started singing 'And my girl, she ain't the one I saw coming. Sometimes I don't know which way to go. And I tried to run before, but I'm not running anymore.' In 2013, modern-day times that's sweet. Because there's so many other things to occupy your time that you can do for yourself. That to say, I tried to be alone but I can't. This is sort of our generation."
Mayer told Billboard that the idea of the gentle, breezy song could be described as "I love you based on the fact that I've tried to run and I'm not running and I give up."
He added that Perry wrote her contribution, a verse admitting "my boy was not the one that I saw coming, some have said his heart's too hard to hold."
Mayer continued: "I immediately thought about Katy and I was like, what a cool voice. What a cool artistic personality to have on. It was a really fun opportunity for her to write like, her answer to that. So you get these two sides to this relationship that are brutally honest but no less universal."
Speaking with US radio station Z100, Mayer admitted that he initially had reservations over the collaboration. Said Mayer: "I had this idea that just sat around for a while and I thought, 'Maybe I'll finish it some day', and I played it for Don Was who was producing the record with me and he said, 'Get Katy to sing on it'. 'Now, he could say that because he doesn't have to worry about all the hang-ups that I'd have to worry about.''
Mayer added that despite their different methods of working, the pair were "professional" while recording the duet. "She was an artist in the studio and partner out of the studio. It was really professional," he explained. ''There was a moment where she was like, 'Let me just go through it once', and the way I work is, 'Let's get this and that and that', and she was like, 'Let me try it my way.'"
"We were just fine before we met each other, that's what we say," he continued, "'You were fine before I met you, you don't need my advice,' and vice versa."
The song's music video was directed by Sophie Muller (Rihanna's "Stay
," Pink's "True Love
.") The clip features scenes of various couples, including Mayer and Perry, riding a mechanical bull. Mayer said during an interview on Good Morning America
: "We set the casting call out for real couples. So it's just so authentic. There's nothing scripted in that video, except maybe putting a bull in the desert."
As for why why the couple decided to ride a mechanical bull in the visual, Perry explained. "Relationships are like riding a bull. You get back on."