James Bay’s new single “Let It Go” was produced by Jacquire King (Kings of Leon, Of Monsters and Men) and is a heartfelt bookend to a past relationship, which James admits was: “super personal and quite hard to write. It outlines the point in a relationship where you think that you should perhaps put it all to bed. We tried it again, and we tried really hard. Maybe we can just be friends and let it go. It’s really honest, and I got something off my chest.”
Hailing from Hitchin, Hertfordshire, James was discovered by Republic Records after a fan uploaded a video of him performing in a Kentish Town pub to YouTube. After months of playing open mic nights in both Brighton and London, James was flown to New York and signed his record deal. In 2013 he released ‘Dark of the Morning EP’ and is set to release new music this year.
This song starts with dangerously icy guitars that will spike your timid flesh.
Then the tender yet raw vocal leaks out – like honeyed salve – before capturing your heart.
Sometimes the haunting voice reaches countertenor highs – perhaps even a flushing “contralto” – but all the while the beauty of the voice is never over-stressed or teetering.
It’s as smooth as bees-wax and as soothing as a butter-oil rub.
This song is full of gutted feeling – of loss, loneliness and lack of opportunity. This is a stunning piece by an exceptionally gifted musician.
@neilmach © 2014
Photo by Alex Shahmiri