If I mentioned the name James Blake to you, more than likely you’re not going to know who I’m talking about. If you’re a fan of tennis, you’ll probably think I’m talking about the retired American tennis player. The James Blake I’ve grown fond of, though, is a singer, songwriter, musician and record producer from London. Though he’s been around for some time, here in the United States he hadn’t grown to much popularity until he released his most recent album "The Colour in Anything" and did a collaboration with Beyoncé on her album "Lemonade."
I first heard James Blake when I was listening to a Pandora station and his song “Retrograde” started playing. I immediately was hooked: the beats and his vocals drew me in and I wanted more. I soon searched him on YouTube, watched his videos, and listened to all of his songs. When I play his music for my friends, they describe him as a “more soft/dark Sam Smith.” Blake’s music could be categorized as electronic, indie, or experimental.
So what is so great about him? Why should you be interested? James Blake’s vocals, rhythms, harmonies, etc, make you feel something. He's commented that some of his songs on "Overgrown" he wrote when he was angry or happy. He is not one of those singers that only sounds good on an album. His live performances have just as much gusto and pureness to them.
James Blake is a wonderful artist to get hooked onto or just to listen to when you want to chill after a long day. Since I do not have an absolute favorite song by him (I love so many), here are my recommendations of songs to listen if you are listening for the first time:
- “My Willing Heart" - The Colour In Anything
- "A Case of You” - Enough Thunder
- “Limit to Your Love” - James Blake
- “Radio Silence” - The Colour In Anything
- “Retrograde” - Overgrown
- “f.o.r.e.v.e.r” - The Colour In Anything
- “Life Round Here” - Overgrown
- “The Wilhelm Scream” - James Blake
- “I Need A Forest Fire (ft. Bon Iver)” - The Colour In Anything
- “Enough Thunder” - Enough Thunder
I know that if you give him a chance, you'll grow to love him as much as I do.