Listen to Famous Last Words, a heartachingly beautiful new song from James Blake
The shimmering new single is plucked from his new album Friends That Break Your Heart, which arrives on October 8th.
Header image by Josh Stadlen.
It's no secret that James Blake is somewhat of a master when it comes to beautiful music, with the long-time favourite being a consistent go-to for achingly rich art ever since his arrival back in 2009. His twisting discography glides between touches of indie, electronica, pop and hip-hop; James Blake's contribution to each genre honing in on the potent indulgence within each sound and fleshing them out either on his own or with the help of guest collaborators (Beyoncé, Kanye West, ROSALIÁ, Andre 3000, SZA and plenty of others joining his long-winding list of features).
In saying that, his musical prowess is something that's felt particularly prevalent over the last two years. Like every other musician, James Blake has seemingly found himself at odds with lockdown-imposed boredom, spending much of his usual touring time recording new music. Last year, that emerged in the form of a four-track EP titled Before, a six-track covers album encompassing everything from Billie Eilish to Frank Ocean and a handful of collaborations with guests including slowthai and Kehlani.
In 2021, meanwhile, it's something that's come in the form of singles littering throughout the year, each song being another capsule - another tease, per se - of his forthcoming new album Friends That Break Your Heart, which is scheduled for release on October 8th. From what we've already heard, Friends That Break Your Heart is going to be a painfully remarkable release, that in true James Blake spirit, captures the intense emotive songwriting that flickers between genres and textures in a way only James Blake can seemingly link together.
It began with Say What You Will back in July, a song "about finding peace with who you are and where you’re at regardless of how well other people seem to be doing." Then, in August came the release of Life Is Not The Same, another beautiful work that reflects on the longing presence left by people in your past. "Life is not the same / If we're miles away / I was your champion / I did everything your way," its chorus sings.
Now comes the album's opening single Famous Last Words, as yet another display of James Blake's artistry. It's a sprawling and subtly warped single, with a slightly off-kilter production swaying amongst James Blake's enchanting vocals, which even after a full decade of constant releases, still beckon with this otherworldly presence. Like much of the album's teasers thus far, the single is rich with this heart-aching lyricism, the album - as he explains - delving into the complexities of past friendships: "Maybe we were moving on or people were moving on without us," he told GQ.
Initially due for release in September, Friends That Break Your Heart is now due for release on October 8th, and while all the singles thus far have been solo recordings, the full album features SZA, J.I.D., Monica Martin and more. We're sure it's going to be an album for the ages, but in the meantime, you can take a listen to Famous Last Words below: