James Blake shares stirring cover of ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ from new ‘Covers’ EP

A stripped-back take on the Roberta Flack classic

James Blake has released his stirring take on ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ from his forthcoming new ‘Covers’ EP.

The ‘Covers’ EP will arrive on December 11 and is set to feature his acclaimed version of Frank Ocean’s ‘Godspeed’.

“One of the things keeping me going mentally throughout lockdown has been the requests from fans for different covers and performing them on Instagram,” Blake said of the ‘Covers’ EP. “It’s been a joy to discover new music and new ways of playing songs I’ve already heard.

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“I might even throw in a surprise that no one has heard me play on socials before. I’m excited to share it with people.”

‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’ cover sees the producer/singer accompanied by subtle electronica and a striking piano as he delivers a new rendition of the Ewan MacColl track, which was popularised by Roberta Flack — hear it below.

The ‘Covers’ EP will follow on from Blake’s surprise ‘Before’ EP, which arrived in October and saw Blake “paying homage to his London club days”.

Blake also recently co-wrote and featured on Slowthai’s single ‘Feel Away’, while he produced the Flatbush Zombies track ‘Afterlife’.

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Speaking recently to NME, Blake discussed his “yearning” for the return of the clubbing scene, which has been broadly shut down in 2020 by the coronavirus pandemic.

“I don’t know about you, but as soon as this pandemic hit, one of my immediate yearnings was: ‘OK, I can’t go to clubs anymore,’” Blake said, before going on to describe clubbing as a “release” that he misses more than anything at the moment.

“You may only realise the importance of something once you can’t do it any more,” he added.

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