London's Elliot James Brings Heartbreak to the Dancefloor With 'Smooth': Exclusive

Elliot James
Joseph Michael

Elliot James

Ever get the feeling that you're bound to run into an ex-lover at a function? Elliot James, a London-born musican known for being a member of bands Extremely Bad Man and Hey Monday, understands that frustration all too well.

He's now channeling his emotions on new single "Smooth," exclusively premiering on Billboard today (June 12). "Your nail was in my coffin, now I'm smashing in/ Everything I held on to is finally free again," James intones on the buzzy track, which is dotted with zipping electronic synths and a punchy bassline.

James' new album Always Lately will be released on August 2 via Blossöm Records, with his second single "Filters" to precede on July 10. 

"'Smooth' is the first song I wrote for Always Lately. It’s about betrayal (in a deeply affectionate way) and getting your frustrations in order, but letting them drive qualities of yourself you love the most," James explains to Billboard. "The choir at the beginning of the song is an iPhone voice memo of my parents' choir at Christmas -- it gives me chills every time."

"I’d begun writing 'Smooth' at my studio in Los Angeles and finished in England's Abbey Road Studios," he continues. "London is forever home and the terminal cure for getting out your ideas from your heart and mind into someone else’s. I’m extremely grateful to have collaborated with [engineer] Frank Arkwright, whose mastering breathed new life and colour into one of my favorite songs on the album. For as long as I can remember, Frank and Abbey Road’s albums have defined pivotal roles in my entire life; their influences on me are completely immeasurable. I’m massively grateful."

Get dancing to "Smooth" below.