James Blake Debuts Lovely New Song 'Modern Soul' During Radio Residency

James Blake
Frank Hoensch/Redferns via Getty Images

James Blake performs live during Berlin Festival Day 2 at the Arena Treptow on May 30, 2015 in Berlin, Germany.

James Blake's third full-length, titled Radio Silence, is imminent. Shortly after being announced as the headliner for this year's Field Day and booking an appearance at Justin Vernon's Eaux Claires Festival, the brilliant Brit has pulled the lace curtain off of "Modern Soul" during his long-running BBC1 residency. Blake hosts the show under the umbrella of 1-800-Dinosaur, the tumbled audio collective he, willingly or not, represents.

While the radio rip's woolen audio quality does little to assist Blake's cellular detailing and indigo patina, his structure and pacing remain as patient and intuitive as ever, and his latticed vocal layers still murmur like a lunar eclipse. It's deconstructive soul, as minimal as a bunker, lush as a greenhouse.

James Blake Talks Possible Collaborators on Third LP

From the outside looking in, James Blake is a modest person for one with such monolithic gifts, putting taxi drivers on his guest list because they're nice, and whispering through his BBC residency -- which he's used to debut remixes of Beyonce, Simon & Garfunkel covers and, as of last night, new songs. "I had no idea of the difference between the way I saw my face and the way it was," he sings on this newest release, "because of a few songs."

"Someone said [the music] sounded like a video game," Blake told Billboard last year, "as if that was meant to be an insult."


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