Hear the new James Blake single, “Retrograde”, below…

I absolutely loved James Blake’s 2011 self-titled debut. It refined the promise he showed on his early R&S singles and EPs, and any questions about the appeal of the kid from Enfield’s musical chops are immediately taken away in a live setting. Every line he drops ripples through the room, makes the walls shake and, when he goes quiet, you can hear a pin drop (his cover of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You” is sorta shattering). It’s neat to see a now 23-year old (he was barely 22 when I saw him) not only show such a command over an audience, but such a grasp on his own sonic range.

“Retrograde” is the first single off of Blake’s upcoming sophomore effort for Universal/RepublicOvergrown, which is due April 8. What immediately jumps out is how much more straightforward the song-writing is here than on his debut, almost possessing a pop sensibility. The driving central stomps and claps give it a feel that’s more traditionally rooted in R&B and Gospel music, instead of the UK dubstep scene he was catapulted out of. All of the young producer’s signature trademarks remain, however, as there are bits of pitch shifting and a ton of buzzing synths in the chorus. This isn’t a BIG stretch for Blake, but it’s nice signifier of the direction Overgrown was taken in.

Blake has also announced a Spring Tour to support the upcoming record. You can find that schedule below the track.

James Blake Blur

James Blake Tour Dates:

02-26 London, England – ICA
04-14 Indio, CA - Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival
04-16-17 San Francisco, CA – Mezzanine
04-18 Santa Cruz, CA – Rio Theatre
04-21 Indio, CA – Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival
04-23 Seattle, WA – Neptune
04-24 Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom
04-25 Vancouver, British Columbia – Commodore Ballroom
04-27 Salt Lake City, UT – The Depot
04-28 Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre
05-01 Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
05-02 Chicago, IL – Metro
05-03 Detroit, MI – Majestic Theatre
05-04 Toronto, Ontario – Danforth Music Hall
05-06 Montreal, Quebec – Metropolis
05-08 Boston, MA – House of Blues
05-09 New York, NY – Terminal 5
05-11 Philadelphia, PA – Theatre of Living Arts
05-12 Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
05-13 Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle
05-14 Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade
05-24 Barcelona, Spain – Primavera Sound
05-29 Madrid, Spain – Sala Capital