Let’s get the facts straight: Katy Perry’s 2019 single “Never Really Over” is one of the pop star’s finest songs. (Thank God it made the set list for her Las Vegas residency, Play, which opens December 29.) In the song, Perry sings, “Two years, and just like that, my head still takes me back / Thought it was done, but I guess it’s never really over.” It’s now been two years (and some change) since Perry released “Never Really Over,” and yes, we’re still thinking about it. But thanks to Perry’s new single, it’s not over. The pop star teamed with Swedish producer Alesso for “When I’m Gone,” another EDM bop that bears some curious similarities to “Never Really Over.” For one, the chorus: “When I’m gone, I’m never really gone,” Perry sings. “You think you’re movin’ on / But you won’t be for long, you see.” We don’t just see — we hear the similar rhythmic cadence in the delivery! Past that, both songs are electropop outings produced by EDM stars (Zedd helmed “Never Really Over”). And both are breakup bops … unless, of course, “Never Really Over” was just a years-in-the-making prophecy for “When I’m Gone.”
Regardless, get ready to compare the music videos on January 10, when Perry and Alesso drop their new visual during the College Football Playoff National Championship. (“ESPN and especially College GameDay hold a special place in my heart,” Perry said in a totally believable statement.) And hear her perform the new song in a medley with “Walking on Air” in Vegas beginning tonight — barring interruption from a certain virus that’s never really gone.
An earlier version of this post incorrectly identified Alesso as a member of Swedish House Mafia, which he is not.