James Blake Didn’t Really Understand Pop Songs Until He Fell In Love

We caught up with prodigious English crooner-beatmaker-songwriter James Blake ahead of his intimate Sydney performance tomorrow night at Verbrugghen Hall, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, to discuss his new album, Overgrown, working with Brian Eno and the likelihood of returning Down Under this year for a larger national tour (forecast: good). But also love. Big love. And how Blake’s first experience falling in love has changed the way he writes and appreciates music. Here’s a snippet of that chat which will be published in its entirety next week. 

To me, the main difference [between the albums] is that the first felt like an intellectual exercise whereas this one feels like an emotional one. Is that a fair assessment? Yeah. I agree completely. Not to get too deep and psychoanalyze myself but the first album was written from the perspective of someone who hadn’t really experienced love before. That means that anyone listening who has been in love, or is in love, or understands love will feel slightly removed. I can understand that.

By extension, does that mean you can appreciate and understand songs about love and romance more now? (Laughs) Yeah! Suddenly I listen to songs on the radio or on the internet and I go “Oh, I get that. I get that now.” It’s pretty amazing. Like unlocking doors. All that cheesy pop music which I thought was rubbish on face value, I get it now.

There’s also another door to unlock. Yeah, what’s that?
Devastating heartbreak. I know, I know. Oh god.

Jame Blake’s sophomore LP Overgrown is due out 8 April.