Days after teasing new music, Shawn Mendes is back with a new single. On “When You’re Gone,” Mendes reminisces over a relationship that has now come to an end. The song, presumably about his ex-girlfriend and fellow singer Camila Cabello, features Mendes singing over poppy electric guitar sounds, before escalating into a thumping kick drum and synth-driven chorus.
“I don’t want to move on / I don’t want to know what it’s like when you’re gone for good,” he sings, seemingly in denial that the relationship is over.
By the song’s bridge, he appears to accept that the song’s subject has moved on, singing, “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.”
Outside of their individual music, both Mendes and Cabello have remained mum about their breakup, which the pair announced last November — until last week, when Mendes shared a video on Instagram opening up about his post-breakup feelings.
“You don’t realize when you’re breaking up with someone, you like, think it’s the right thing,” he said. “You don’t realize all the sh*t that comes after it, which is like, ‘Who do I call when I’m like in a panic attack? Who do I call when I’m like, f*cking, on the edge?’ And I think that’s the reality that kind of hit me: ‘Oh, I’m on my own now.’ Now I feel like I’m finally like, I’m actually on my own. And I hate that. That’s my reality, you know?”
The song is accompanied by a music video containing a montage of his live performances, including some at SXSW, where he played the song earlier this month.
Check out “When You’re Gone” above.