James Blake is one of the most exotic and elaborate music producers working today. His distinct post-dubstep style and melancholy swoon has attracted flocks of people to adore his masterpieces. Since 2009, Blake has been consistently releasing music, all incredibly diverse and brilliantly crafted. He went on to win the esteemed Mercury Prize in 2013 for Overgrown, his second LP. Now, two years later, where can James Blake possibly go with his sound?
James Blake has been known to cover other musicians before. He already spun his own web from Feist’s “The Limit To Your Love” and delivered a faithful rendition of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You”. The next and obvious step was to take on another fragile composition. Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound Of Silence”, a timeless classic known for its soft and stark lyrical content and gentle guitar strumming was a simple choice for Blake to choose.
From what has become a major milestone in folk music, “The Sound Of Silence” sounds brand new in the way James Blake takes it on. Instead of glowing, hollow plucking, Blake adds his own moody, deep sounds to back his delicate vocals. Much like his other releases, Blake uses his confident skill of multi-vocal tracks by harmonizing with himself as a one-man gospel choir. The song is airy in nature, gliding through the listener’s headphones and filling a large space with small fragments of beauty.
If this is any indication of what is to come from Blake’s upcoming album Radio Silence, it’s something to get excited about. Supposedly Kanye West and Bon Iver have prominent roles in his next album as well, so this is shaping up to be a monumental affair. If you haven’t already heard this song, I strongly urge you to listen to it now. Grab some headphones or blast it out loud from your computer screen. I haven’t been able to escape its clutches since it debuted a few nights ago on BBC Radio 1. It holds a certain kind of magic, a hypnotic sensation not always utilized by artists to capture the attention of their listeners. It’s a fantastic tribute to the song’s origins with a clever twist of its own.
Radio Silence is due out sometime soon.