Leon Bridges and John Mayer have released an intriguing, addictive one-off duet. “Inside Friend,” the result of an impromptu jam session between the two musicians, is a reminder of how versatile both of these guys are. Instrumentally, it’s an easygoing retro soul ballad pierced through with digital bass bombs and trap drum programming, topped off with some spicy lead guitar from Mayer. There are vocal moments that remind me of both Anderson .Paak and D’Angelo. I’ve already gone back and played it several times and it’s not getting old.
“Inside Friend,” as you might have guessed, is about domestic romance. The song is peppered with lyrics about yoga pants, sliding across the kitchen floor, and the unglamorous intimacy that can only come from hanging out at home. Bridges and Mayer recorded it a while back but only decided to finish it recently, given the circumstances that have kept most people stuck at in their domiciles lately. Here’s how Bridges explains it:
The concept for “Inside Friend” came about from Mayer and I joking around in the studio about what an ideal date for an introvert or homebody like myself would be. I tour most of the year, so I’d rather invite a gal over to lounge comfortably in the crib as opposed to go out somewhere crowded. “Inside Friend” stayed on the back burner for a while because it didn’t fit within the context of my third project, but the current state we’re in globally compelled us to dig this back up and finish it. I hope people find it soothing and uplifting while we hole up indoors and get through this.
“Inside Friend” is out now on Columbia. Bridges will join Mayer for a chat on Instagram on Easter Sunday.