John Mayer’s new single could be a diss to Taylor Swift

Singer/songwriters aren’t known for trading diss tracks.

But then there’s John Mayer’s new single, “Paper Doll.” Hearing the tune’s not-so-subtle jabs at a petty and ungrateful lover, one can’t help but wonder if it is a response to Taylor Swift’s kiss-off of Mayer, which slams the longtime Fairfield resident for mistreating her during their short-lived love affair.

On “Paper Doll,” Mayer seems to fire back with thinly-veiled condescension: “You’re like 22 girls in one / And none of them know what they’re running from / Was it just too far to fall for a little paper doll?” (“22 girls in one” being a possible reference to Swift’s song, “22”).

Deeper into the song, Mayer croons spitefully that “someone’s gonna paint you another sky” — a response, perhaps, to “you paint me a blue sky and go back and turn it to rain” from “Dear John.” The lyric “Sure was fun being good to you” appears to be in line with Mayer’s recent interview with Rolling Stone, in which he insists he “didn’t deserve” Swift’s ire on “Dear John.”

“I’m pretty good at taking accountability now, and I never did anything to deserve that,” he said. “It was a really lousy thing for her to do.”

The sharp tone of “Paper Doll” is softened by none other than Prancersie guru Johanna Rohrback, who appears in the lyric video for “Paper Doll.” Rohrback prances gently down a suburban street, offering a sweet image to contrast with Mayer’s bitter words.

Mayer, 35, recently announced on his Facebook page that he’s back in the studio, working on his sixth studio album. “Paradise Alley” is due in the fall.

Mayer is also slated to mount his first major concert tour in three years following an extended hiatus brought on by throat issues. The artist’s tour in support of 2012′s “Born and Raised,” his fifth studio album, stops at Hartford’s Comcast Theatre on Aug. 16.

Tickets for the show, which cost $75 and $36, are on sale now via Ticketmaster, or by calling 800-745-3000.

Mayer will use the U.S. tour to both raise funds for and heighten awareness of the effects of post traumatic stress on U.S. military veterans.

Listen to “Paper Doll” and “Dear John” below:

Scott Gargan