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Jacob Collier (feat. Lizzy McAlpine & John Mayer), 'Never Gonna Be Alone'

For "Never Gonna Be Alone," his first single since the award-winning Djesse Vol. 3, Jacob Collier enlisted the help of Lizzy McAlpine and John Mayer to create a celestial soundscape that spans the depths of isolation, loss and memory.

The piece swells with the rubato, orchestral textures — sustained string harmonics, tinkling wind chimes, warm and brassy long tones — that make up Collier's expansive sound. However, once McAlpine's nuanced vocals enter for the verse, it takes a subtle yet tasteful turn. "There's a patch of sunlight in my room / On the carpet where I held you for a moment in June," McAlpine sings as hi-hats and deep sub bass contribute to a cool, laid-back groove. Lush, immersive background vocals from Collier and McAlpine adds to the overall intimacy the song evokes, while Mayer's melancholic, bluesy guitar solo ushers us into the bridge, in which McAlpine provides more context: "There's so much I wanna say to you / Even though I know nothing's gonna change / But I'll always find my way back here to you."

There's much to experience over the course of this one multifaceted and emotional song. "It speaks to my experience of the world as a hugely beautiful and fragile place," Collier writes in a press statement, adding that the song "has helped me process some of the grief I think we're all feeling for our pasts and futures, in a myriad of different ways."

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Ashley Pointer
Ashley Pointer is a news assistant for NPR Music.