James Blake has confirmed his new album ‘The Colour In Anything’ will be released at midnight tonight (May 5).
The south London musician stopped by Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac’s show to debut a studio version of ‘Radio Silence’, which he played at Latitude festival last year, and ‘I Need A Forest Fire’, which features Bon Iver‘s Justin Vernon.
“It’s been a long time,” Blake told Mac. “The first song I’m going to play, I guess, is the first song that was written [for this album] so I’ve been sitting on it for the longest. It was going to be the title track because there was almost a running joke that there’d been so much radio silence from me in my absence.”
After playing ‘Radio Silence’, he admitted: “I just became incredibly nervous just now.”
Of collaborating with Vernon on ‘I Need A Forest Fire’, Blake said: “I mean, [it was] an honour. He just sings gold and it comes out quickly and effortlessly and that’s the kind of person he is.”
Recently, murals for the record have appeared in London and the US featuring artwork drawn by Quentin Blake. “I’m so lucky to be able to work with him on this,” Blake said of the collaboration. “I’ve always loved what he does. My mum is a graphic designer, an artist, and she got me into him at an early age.
“It wasn’t actually my idea, it was my manager Dan’s idea,” he continued. “It wasn’t actually going to be for this record, it was going to be for something else. And then this record turned into the kind of record that suited this artwork. Now when I look at the artwork, there’s so much emotion in what I’m looking at that sometimes I find it hard to even look at. It brings back this whole experience, the record, the things that went into the record, the stories that went into, the journey of it. It really encapsulates the whole thing for me.”
The musician and producer also revealed that he had worked with Rick Rubin on some of the sessions for the record, “to get a feel for what it would be like to have someone else man the controls.”
Blake also recently contributed to another surprise album release in the form of Beyonce‘s ‘Lemonade’. Talking to Mac, he described working with the pop star as “an honour”.
“She’s wonderful. As wonderful in person as I hoped that she’d be. I just sang the right thing, I don’t know. I didn’t know what was going to happen with it. It could have ended up falling into the ether, but somehow it didn’t.”