James Blake just dropped his “Enough Thunder” EP. Have a listen.
Opening track “Once We All Agree” begins in spare fashion with Blake’s voice interweaving around minimal piano notes, before he begins inserting strategic Eno-esque drones and noise. “We Might Feel Unsound” rolls out with Burial-esque disembodied voices, which Blake echoes with his own. And the Burial references do not end in the beginning, but pervade the entire track. It’s quite a brilliant appropriation by Blake, who takes the dubstep influence off the rails in a controlled way several minutes into the track. Instead of slow-motion it becomes frenetic.
“Fall Creek Boys Choir” sounds rather like a gospel choir dipped in dubstep land until Phil Collins drops by for a hello. It’s strange but beautiful. Blake gets schmaltzy with “A Case For You” with an Aaron Neville-Meets-Michael McDonald vocal over sentimental piano notes.
Proceedings get back on track with “Not Long Now” when Blake pairs his vocals with otherworldly start-stop synthesizers and what sounds like the voice of an alien or future artificial intelligence at certain points. Several minutes in, Blake introduces a beat to bring some relief, which morphs into a bass heavy section.
Blake and piano re-emerge on “Enough Thunder,” another approximation of “A Case for You.” It’s less schmaltz than the latter and more tragic beauty.
Look for James Blake’s “Enough Thunder” EP October 10th.