For his fifth studio album, Jason Mraz teamed up with his friends in the all-female folk group, Raining Jane, and decided to go acoustic. It’s these women, who Mraz says encouraged him to try a little tenderness on his new album, dubbed YES! and out July 15.
“Sonically, my backing band on this album are four incredible women,” he told Radio.com of working with Raining Jane. “Their approach to music and their voices definitely bring a tenderness and sentiment to this record that some of my records don’t have.”
Though he’s calling the release his “first acoustic album,” Mraz promises it packs a pretty big punch with eclectic instrumentation that includes cello, sitar, ukuleles and other small stringed instruments. But even though Mraz may have broadened his sound for this new one, he still stays true to the songwriter he’s always been.
“The themes on the album are very much the same themes I’ve written about: optimism, hope, love, joy, healing, faith, acceptance, gratitude,” he explained. “This is a conscious decision because I always feel a song should be an affirmation of some kind. It should get you through the present moment and into a more loving or realized future.”
Fittingly, his lead single is called “Love Someone” and was written with the ladies of Raining Jane while walking down a dirt road in Virginia with a small herd of goats.