Jeffrey James explores the possibility of a new love in his latest single, “Saltwater.” But instead of straightforwardly addressing the range of emotions that come with trying to establish a meaningful connection with someone, the alt-pop singer uses imagery involved with, well, saltwater.
Featuring his soulful voice and underlying synth-pop beats, “Saltwater” sees James sing to a lover he lusts. “Shipwrecks on your bedroom floor/ Lovers from your past,” he sings on the song’s opening, before letting the person know that he’s ready to dive in as the chorus kicks in. “As the tides they push and pull/ I surrender like a fool/ Seaglass eyes so green and blue/ I wait for you.”
Even when explaining the meaning of the song himself, James can’t help but use sea-inspired parallels: “‘Saltwater’ is about ‘the undertow and buoyancy of real love — and the desire to connect with a partner with full honesty and acceptance.” Puns and metaphors aside, James says that the essence of the relationship-reflecting song is “knowing that you both have a past, and that those pasts helped create who you are now.”
The metaphorical track was co-written in Los Angeles with industry veterans David Burris and Amy Kuney, marking the first time James has not written or recorded in his home base of Nashville. “Saltwater” follows the June release of James’ previous single “The Look” and his 2017 EP Unsaid.
“Saltwater” will officially be released tomorrow (Aug. 10). You can pre-save the single here, but get an early listen to “Saltwater” premiering on Billboard below.