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John Mayer embraces the ’80s in a big way on new track Last Train Home

After a week of teases, John Mayer has unveiled Last Train Home, the first taste of his forthcoming eighth studio album, Sob Rock.

As hinted by the album’s oh-so-’80s cover shot, Last Train Home harks back to the glory days of yacht rock, with multiple synth lines, big percussion and a bucketload of vocal hooks.

Mayer’s quest for authenticity goes right down to his band lineup, which features Toto percussionist Lenny Castro, alongside keyboard legend – and former Toto touring member – Greg Phillinganes, while vocalist Maren Morris also makes a guest appearance.

Of course, the ’80s was also a golden era for guitar playing, and Mayer captures its essence down to a tee, punctuating his sultry vocals with tight, compressed clean lines and fat overdriven tones from his new hot pink PRS Silver Sky.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal (opens in new tab), Mayer described Sob Rock as a record “made to bring comfort”.

“I asked myself, ‘What music makes me feel like everything’s going to be OK?’” he explained. “It’s the music I listened to growing up in the ‘80s. There’s a security-blanket aspect about that sound that reminds me of a safer time.”

John Mayer poses with one of his signature PRS Silver Sky guitars on the cover of his upcoming album, 'Sob Rock'

(Image credit: John Mayer/Instagram)

Sob Rock is out on July 16 and available to pre-save now via sobrock.net (opens in new tab) – we’ll bring you more info, and hopefully more music, as soon as we have it.

2021 looks set to be a big year for Mayer: the blues-rock heartthrob is also reportedly set to host a new late night talk show based on the UK's Later... With Jools Holland, which will feature performances and interviews with “musicians, artists and other cultural figures”.

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Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar (opens in new tab), Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as the best part of 20 years performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe (opens in new tab).