Shawn Mendes is the musical guest on Saturday Night Live this week. Mendes is midway through a yearlong world tour, and since his self-titled album came out in May 2018, his appearance on SNL was a little baffling back when it was announced. His tour is already basically sold out, and his album has been out for a full calendar year. What’s there to promote?
A new single, apparently. With just a few days of warning, Mendes dropped the a new song (and video), “If I Can’t Have You.” It’s pop perfection, building passion in the verses to an explosive, cathartic chorus. Mendes sings about a love that’s all-consuming — he’s in hotel rooms and onstage living that pop star life, but having “everything means nothing if I can’t have you.”
In the video for the song, Mendes goes through the motions of his life on a soundstage, posing on a couch, playing the piano, laying down to pine after a beautiful woman. He grabs a microphone and cheeses hard for the camera and jumps on a treadmill. The coldness of the video, shot in black and white, is an interesting companion to the fiery, infatuated song. “If I Can’t Have You” is immediately catchy, and Mendes’ voice sounds incredible. It’s only May, but this is a Song Of The Summer contender if I’ve ever heard one.
Watch the video for “If I Can’t Have You” above.