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Love Letter To A Record: Jem Cassar-Daley On John Mayer’s ‘Battle Studies’

Music Feeds’ Love Letter To A Record series asks artists to reflect on their relationship with music and share stories about how the music they love has influenced their lives.

Jem Cassar-Daley released her debut EP, I Don’t Know Who to Call, on Friday, 27th May. Here, Cassar-Daley pens a love letter to John Mayer’s fourth studio album, Battle Studies, released in 2009. Listen to Jem Cassar-Daley’s recent single, ‘Changes’, below.

Jem Cassar-Daley on John Mayer’s Battle Studies

I had my first taste of Battle Studies at the age of nine when ‘Heartbreak Warfare’ popped up on my So Fresh the Hits of Summer 2011 + The Best of 2010 CD that I got for Christmas. Admittedly, I was more digging Kesha’s ‘Your Love is My Drug’ and Rihanna’s ‘Only Girl (In the World)’ at this age, but John Mayer’s record has been one that I’ve revisited so many times in my 21 years. I simply can’t get enough of it.

Dad is a huge fan of John Mayer, so fortunately I heard plenty of his music on road trips growing up. But I really got into this record when I was about 15 and spent my time going down rabbit holes on Spotify instead of studying. I hadn’t experienced anything remotely close to heartbreak at this age, though ‘All We Ever Do is Say Goodbye’ sure made me feel like I had. John’s music has a powerful ability to do that.

A personal favourite of mine from Battle Studies is ‘Edge of Desire’. I particularly love the line at the end of the chorus: “There I just said it / I’m scared you’ll forget about me.” It just hits me right in the heart every time I hear it. The snare at the beginning of the track, the mellow guitar riffs, and the buttery vocals all make this song absolutely perfect.

I also love the contrast between the tracks on this record. ‘All We Ever Do is Say Goodbye’ and ‘Heartbreak Warfare’ absolutely tear your heart out, while ‘Who Says’ and ‘Half of My Heart’ are fun and easy listening tracks. There really is a song for every mood on this album.

One thing that I absolutely adore about John Mayer as an artist is his incredible versatility. Each album has such a unique flavour, which made deciding on this record incredibly difficult (if I could choose his entire discography, I would.)

So, Battle Studies, thank you for the wonderful memories and constant inspiration.

Lots of love, Jem xx

Get your hands on I Don’t Know Who to Call by Jem Cassar-Daley now.

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