Producer, singer, song-writer and multi-instrumentalist, James Blake has dropped new music, in the form of a collaborative project with fellow producer and singer-songwriter FINNEAS, who is also well known for being the brother and musical collaborator of Billie Eilish.
James Blake carved out a name for himself and his unique style of hauntingly beautiful R&B vocals, partnered with minimal production, which takes inspiration from his background as a classically trained piano and passion for UK dubstep, with his first two albums. The self-titled James Blake album (2011) and the Mercury Prize winning Overgrown (2013) grew interest around his name. Since then Blake’s has been catapulted from an underground producer to worldwide fame and critical acclaim in the wake of each of his projects over the years, aided greatly by multiple high profile collaborations with an impressive and eclectic range of artists, including, Beyoncé, Travis Scott, Andre 3000 and slowthai.
This new single is the first glimpse of Blake’s upcoming 5th album ‘Friends That Break Your Heart’, which will feature collaborations with SZAA, JID, SwaVay and Monica Martin. The track itself features Blake’s characteristically gravelly vocal, alongside a minimal instrumental created with FINNEAS, which is less bass heavy, electronically built up and R&B influenced, compared to many of Blake’s previous offerings. This single is more comparable to his earlier work such as ‘Limit To Your Love’. The vocal then swells into a beautifully pure falsetto, with Blake sliding over vocal riffs effortlessly, whilst strings can be heard behind him.
The visual released alongside the project shows Blake comically comparing his commercial success and popularity to that of FINNEAS, such as the number of Grammys each artist has won, how much radio play they get and how liked they are by the public. Although the video is witty and funny, it contains an important message and ends on the quote:
‘Comparison is the thief of joy’ – Theodore Roosevelt.
Speaking recently about the track, Blake has stated:
‘it is about finding peace with who you are and where you’re at regardless of how well other people seem to be doing. Comparison really is the thief of joy’
This message has potentially never been as important as many of us have spent more time recently on social media, comparing every aspect of our lives to the lives of others presented to us. Blake’s album ‘Friends That Break Your Heart’ will be released on the 10th of September.
Words: Leila Mcgrorty