Enough Thunder - EP by James Blake on Apple Music

6 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Whether he’s stripping parts from under the hood of avant-dubstep minimalism, recording a smoldering soulful cover of Feist’s “Limit to Your Love,” or fusing R&B-tinged indie with left-field production and IDM architecture, it’s the eerie trill in James Blake’s haunting vocals that marks his musical signature. In the spectral opening song “Once We All Agree,” Blake’s warbling inflections sound like he’s singing from a hospital bed, as spare piano notes punctuate the changes over a distressing ambience. He ramps up the experimental production flourishes on “We Might Feel Unsound,” where a skittering snare accompanies percolating beats to create something that sounds like a collaboration between Björk and Thom Yorke. Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon duets on “Fall Creek Boys Choir,” a stylish standout with slow-burning rhythms crackling under analog synth drones and looped animal sounds. In his cover of “A Case of You” (one of the strongest selections from Joni Mitchell’s Blue), Blake utilizes only sparse piano and voice and nails Mitchell’s erratic phrasing with his own sophistication.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Whether he’s stripping parts from under the hood of avant-dubstep minimalism, recording a smoldering soulful cover of Feist’s “Limit to Your Love,” or fusing R&B-tinged indie with left-field production and IDM architecture, it’s the eerie trill in James Blake’s haunting vocals that marks his musical signature. In the spectral opening song “Once We All Agree,” Blake’s warbling inflections sound like he’s singing from a hospital bed, as spare piano notes punctuate the changes over a distressing ambience. He ramps up the experimental production flourishes on “We Might Feel Unsound,” where a skittering snare accompanies percolating beats to create something that sounds like a collaboration between Björk and Thom Yorke. Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon duets on “Fall Creek Boys Choir,” a stylish standout with slow-burning rhythms crackling under analog synth drones and looped animal sounds. In his cover of “A Case of You” (one of the strongest selections from Joni Mitchell’s Blue), Blake utilizes only sparse piano and voice and nails Mitchell’s erratic phrasing with his own sophistication.

TITLE TIME
4:23
4:00
4:33
2:57
5:23
4:15

About James Blake

Influenced by the likes of D'Angelo and Stevie Wonder along with Burial and Mount Kimbie, London-based producer, singer, and songwriter James Blake first gave the world a taste of his quirky, R&B-sampling strain of dubstep in 2009 when his Air & Lack Thereof 12" appeared on the Hemlock label. Blake received quite the endorsement when the heralded Soul Jazz label picked the track up for their Steppas' Delight 2 compilation that same year. Blake raised his profile every few months during 2010 -- something of a breakout year for him -- with a succession of warmly received 12" releases: The Bells Sketch (Hessle Audio, March), CMYK (R&S, June), Klavierwerke (R&S, October), and the single-sided "Limit to Your Love" (Atlas, November). The last of the series -- a cover of a song by Feist, in which Blake's heartfelt vocal was placed front and center -- served as a precursor to his first full-length, issued the following February. Titled James Blake, it left a major impression, and was eventually nominated for a Mercury Prize but lost to PJ Harvey's Let England Shake.

Blake returned to Hemlock for the Order 12", then reverted to Atlas for Enough Thunder, a six-track EP with a Bon Iver collaboration and a cover of Joni Mitchell's "A Case of You." Yet another 12", Love Happened Here, was out by the end of 2011. Blake spent much of 2012 working on his second album, releasing new work under the name Harmonimix, and performing less often as the new songs percolated. In April 2013, second album Overgrown appeared, featuring collaborations with Brian Eno and RZA. It won that year's Mercury Prize, and Blake's songwriting was acknowledged when "Retrograde," one of the album's highlights, won an Ivor Novello Award in the category of Best Contemporary Song. Little, apart from an Airhead collaboration and an EP on his 1-800 Dinosaur label, was heard from Blake for three years. He resurfaced in April 2016 with contributions to Beyoncé's Lemonade. A couple weeks later, The Colour in Anything, his third album, arrived with only a few hours of advance notice. Recorded in England and at Rick Rubin's studio in Malibu, California, it included input from Bon Iver and Frank Ocean. ~ David Jeffries & Andy Kellman

  • ORIGIN
    Enfield, London, England
  • BORN
    Sep 25, 1988

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