”Written byJosh Raynham
“Wherever I go, I’m only as good as my mind, which is only good if you’re mine.”
Producer, singer, and songwriter James Blake drops his second single “Loading” in anticipation for his upcoming album release “Playing Robots Into Heaven”. The album, which will be Blake’s sixth studio effort, will be out on September 8 via Republic Records and like its predecessor “Friends That Break Your Heart” will find Blake reconnecting with his electronic music roots.
Known for his unique style, which wraps aching, gently sung R&B vocals around the deep bass and minimal rhythmic elements of dubstep, Blake takes us on a journey through this intricately arranged track through shifting tempos and smooth breaks. The song’s scarce and intimate production eventually builds into a bold, thumping electronic soundscape that complements each vocal line. The track features Blake’s own vocals, blending his new poppier sound with the eccentricities of his post-dubstep roots.
“Loading” was co-produced by Blake and Dom Maker, with additional production by Rob McAndrews and Jameela Jamil, and comes just a month after the release of the first single of the LP “Big Hammer“, which samples the Ragga Twins and was accompanied by a music video directed by Oscar Hudson.
Born James Blake Litherland, Blake was raised in a musical family. He was classically trained in piano from a very young age and focused on musical studies throughout his education. While still very young, he and his friends became fixated on electronic music, in particular the emerging dubstep sound that was beginning in London in the mid-2000s.
He took inspiration from early U.K. dubstep artists like Burial, Distance, and Skream and merged it with influences from textural R&B innovators like D’Angelo while developing his first original tracks.
Blake has worked with many talented musicians and producers, including recording his third LP Rick Rubin’s studio in Malibu, California, which included input from Bon Iver and Frank Ocean. In 2018, Blake was active as a co-writer and performer of two songs on the soundtrack to the superhero blockbuster Black Panther. He contributed to the single “King’s Dead” Alongside Kendrick Lamar, Future, and Jay Rock and to “Bloody Waters,” also co-written by Lamer. “King’s Dead” would go on to win 2019’s Grammy for Best Rap Performance, Blake’s first Grammy win after multiple nominations over the years.
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