James Bay drops his guard in the name of love on his new song, “Peer Pressure,” featuring Julia Michaels. The track begins as a tender acoustic ballad, but Bay deftly builds an arrangement that soon bursts with arena-sized energy. “Put your hands on my body just like you think you know me,” he and Michaels sing on the chorus, “Want your heart beating on me, don’t leave me hot and lonely/I don’t usually give in to peer pressure/But I’ll give in to yours.”
In a statement, Bay said of “Peer Pressure,” “I think it can be easy to stay very guarded in life, and not let anybody in, past your personal armor. These guards we all put up every day for different reasons. In writing ‘Peer Pressure’ Julia and I wanted to talk about how, when the right person comes along, they can break through any armor and with love, get straight to you. It’s about that person who, no matter how much of a guard you hold up, finds their way through to you.”
“Peer Pressure” marks Bay’s first new song since the release of his second album, Electric Light, last year. The singer-songwriter kicks off a headlining North American tour March 3rd in Nashville, Tennessee, while he’ll spend the summer opening for Ed Sheeran on the latter’s European stadium tour.
Michaels, meanwhile, released her new EP, Inner Monologue, Pt. 1 in January. The six-song collection marks her first release since her 2017 EP, Nervous System, and features collaborations with Selena Gomez and Niall Horan.