Liam Bailey’s latest single is called “You Saw the Devil In Me.” But the song and its video, premiering exclusively below, is actually about the British soul singer himself seeing those demons.
Bailey tells Billboard that “You Saw the Devil in Me” and the rest of his upcoming EP Brand New is partly the result of therapy to deal with “self-hate” issues and came out of a period when he was “finding it hard to be real in my writing.” “It takes a lot of balls to say without having to dilute it,” Bailey explains. “This time I had some things to write about — the idea of not being self-confident, not being able to look in the mirror and so on. So instead of hiding myself I wrote about those things, based on me looking in the mirror and writing while I was looking in the mirror.”
The minimal, spacious “You Saw the Devil in Me,” meanwhile, came “after quite an intense therapy session, where I was forced to be introspective and face difficult truths about how I’d been living.” The song’s video, directed by James Beale, takes Bailey to Bulgaria, where he tried to convey the desire for “a calm quiet space to think.” “I’ve always believed that any true person carries dark and light within them,” he says, “so in that video you’ve got dark and light and you see me just on the mountain top, singing at the top of my lungs…It feels introspective, but there’s hope in it, and the sunrise landscape gives it a sense of rebirth as well.”
With Brand New coming out Feb. 1, Bailey — who’s slated to be part of Gorillaz’s next project as well — is planning to tour in the New Year but is also working on a second full-length album to follow up 2014’s Definitely Now. He’s been recording primarily with Leon Michels (the Arcs, El Michels Affair) in New York. There’s no timeline for that yet, but Bailey describes it as “electric soul. It’s going to be quite eclectic, really — if you can imagine some kind of reggae-soul-dancehall, a mix like that. There’s a lot of music. I’m just continuing as I need to go on and I’ll put it out when it’s right.”