James Blake discusses new material: “I’m trying to dive into the most free, un-self-conscious part of myself”

"I’m embracing more of the experimental side of myself, different time signatures and being a bit more fluid"

James Blake has opened up about his plans for new music, describing it as “a bit of semi-experimental stuff, and [a bit of] traditional songwriter stuff.”

In a new interview, Blake opened up on his ongoing solo piano shows, his reaction to being nominated for a Grammy, and of course the prospect of new material.

“I’m trying to dive into the most free, un-self-conscious part of myself,” he said. “I think it’s easier once you’ve gone through the tough 20s.

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“I’m 31 now and I feel like I’ve been through the worst of the turbulence, and a lot of the things that would plague my mind when writing and performing are easing up and I’m feeling comfortable in my own skin.”

James Blake ACL Music Festival 2019
James Blake. CREDIT: Getty

Blake revealed to Variety that after releasing 2013 smash hit ‘Retrograde’, he intitially found it difficult to “write more songs that would create a moment like that.”

He continued: “Now I’m embracing more of the experimental side of myself, different time signatures and being a bit more fluid… if you feel pressure to create a big song, which I think is in the back of the mind of any artist who’s had a big song, unfortunately, that creates a pressure to homogenize further songs to the framework that you think will [create another big song].

“I fought that feeling very hard, and as it subsides, it’s easier to think outside of the box and do what I used to do. And despite living in L.A., which is a success-obsessed town, I’m trying to keep my expectations and motivations pure. So now it’s kind of like, “Nah, I’ll just put out music when I want,” which is great.”

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Blake is currently touring his solo piano shows, where he’s regularly been covering Billie Eilish‘s ‘When The Party’s Over’.

The musician’s last release was January 2019’s ‘Assume Form’ LP, which was followed by a bonus track, ‘Mullholand’ receiving a full release.

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