As the singular strains of Shawn Mendes‘ guitar strums, the now-familiar build up to his instantly infectious choruses arrives; “When You’re Gone” is vintage Mendes, with a bit of a grown-up vibe thrown in. A little heartbreak goes a long way, and the growth in Mendes’ material is evident. While the internet is already abuzz about who the song is truly about (lyrics include phrases like “Starting to feel like you don’t need me Wanna believe it’s all for the better It’s getting real I’m missing you deeply” immediately harken back to his relationship to a fellow pop singer), the track is sure to have a universal appeal. Regardless of any hidden meanings behind the track, “When You’re Gone” defines the type of fresh and breezy pop music that the warmer months are practically made for.
The full video for “When You’re Gone” (available here) shows Mendes in one of his realest and rawest elements, on the road. The video was directed by frequent Mendes collaborator Jay Martin (“It’ll Be Okay”, “Mercy”, “Stitches”). Shot in both Toronto and Austin across several days, the video captured the actual recording, rehearsing, and first ever live performance of the song at SXSW (more info on that landmark performance below).
In the days leading up to the release of “When You’re Gone”, Mendes himself started dropping hints of the track online. As the strains of the instant ear worm, brand new single played, Mendes can be seen-shirtless and clad in black pants-moonwalking backward across the floor, while a black jacket hangs on a clothing rack nearby. While it looks like this could have been filmed pre-Academy Awards last Sunday (where Mendes was a presenter), this is not the first time he has given fans a sneak peek of the brand new track. During this month’s SXSW, Mendes performed the single as a surprise for the packed crowd, as fans waved their hands (and phones) furiously to the chorus that says “It’s hard for me to let go of you, so I’m just trying to hold on/I don’t want to know what it’s like when you’re gone”.
this is unusual behaviour. when you’re gone is coming. 3/31
Follow Shawn Mendes on Instagram