Next week, after a summer of heavy international touring and sell-out shows, worldwide acclaim for his third album and plaudits from a constellation of A-list musical stars, the Goldsmiths graduate will do just that.
He’ll return to the capital to play two eagerly awaited high-profile home-town shows, his first here since headlining at Victoria Park’s Field Day festival in June.
The single was released in the United Kingdom on 28 November 2010, he was eventually placed second, ahead of fellow shortlisted acts; The Vaccines, Jamie Woon and Clare Maguire.
It was also revealed on 15 December 2010 that Blake had been made the runner-up behind singer-songwriter Jessie J at the BRIT Awards' "Critic's Choice".
Blake’s hypnotic sound is all glitchy beats, skeletal electronics, rippling piano parts and often distorted vocals.
And that’s I think because I’m kind of known for something. Last night we did twenty minutes of house music explorations of shit. I was worried that it would come off as, “Hey, I’m going to have Kanye West on my album! If you just put his name in a headline, you’ll get more of them. If you go on the Internet now it makes it seem like you guys were sleeping in bunk beds and wearing matching pajamas. Like, “I don’t think I am with you.”Do you feel like the L. Kind of like the scenes that didn’t make it on the record as well, they sound like Malibu. Maybe then I wouldn’t have made such depressing music.
As I waited for James Blake to come on stage at his show last week at Webster Hall, more than one person made the joke that he was backstage crying. Playing music for no reason at all, as in not to record or to fulfill a record contract—not organized fun, but a jam session or something, which I don’t do enough, and I’m starting to do more. When you’re playing music for no reason, do you think the music you play would surprise people? This is all me." I was worried that anyone could fuck me over.
This is probably what a lot of people think of when they think of James Blake: a brilliant but tortured sad-sack who cries his music into existence. Yes, I think there’s a spontaneity, because when you’re making records, you feel like it’s going to be under scrutiny at some point. I think a lot of it comes from the fact that when I was first starting out, I was a little bit nervous. Or that people would take my words and misconstrue them. I was 21, and suddenly I’m being interviewed, and people think I have a lot more to say than I do. I think because when I was starting to do this record, I was like, “Who would work on this track?
It would be really, really lovely if you could just let me do my job…” The audience whoop and applaud their telling-off, then rather blithely ignore it.
Perhaps it’s time for this Enfield boy to come home.