James Blake: “Timeless”

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James Blake “Timeless” begins with a slow build that is as soulful as it is smooth. Over it, Blake croons “I can’t be selfless / I’m acting my age,” the most concrete lyrics he gives us in the 4:00 long track, which premiered on his BBC Radio 1 residency. Blake is preparing to release a new album, and “Timeless” gives fans a lot to look forward to. The blend of styles Blake creates here is phenomenal, as the track builds from minimalist electronic production to a hard synth-line that mirrors trap and current hip-hop sounds, all while weaving in textures and lines that conjure everything from modern soul to Middle Eastern guitar music. But when the alarm sounds midway through the track it ironically makes “Timeless” sound not so timeless at all – it’s the moment of the drop, an extremely current and in many ways dying trend in music. “Timeless,” then, comes as a subtle comment on the current state of electronic music from one of it’s best and, arguably, one of its most likely candidates to stand the test of time.

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James Blake: “Modern Soul”

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Amidst all the Kanye West madness last night, James Blake shared a stunning new track. During his BBC Radio 1 residency, he played a new song called “Modern Soul.” Blake’s new album Radio Silence is slated to feature Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and none other than West himself, although it doesn’t have a release date yet. On “Modern Soul,” Blake contemplates his career and finds himself at a crossroads, singing “Because of a few songs” and “I want it to be over” over and over again, making for an emotionally raw excursion into electronic music that sits with some of his best songs to date.