Before feel away, I never really liked James Blake’s sound. Which is strange because I like haunting, melancholic music. I have an entire playlist of bummer music (private on Spotify of course) for when I want to induce some creative stream-of-concsciousness.
Obviously I know James Blake is beloved and that you’re probably shaking your head. But believe me, I’ve tried. I saw him at Outside Lands and watched the crowd sway – woozy from his mournful crooning. Still, I didn’t feel a thing.
Which is why it’s a surprise that the best song I’ve heard in the last several weeks is James Blake’s verse on a recent release from British punk, rap star, slowthai. The very thing that made James Blake feel inaccessible – his uncategorizable-ness – is what I love about feel away.
“I leave the dent in my car, to remind me what I could’ve lost,” hums Blake.
In feel away James Blake adds a dream-like quality to the song. Half-awake we feel like anything is possible. And maybe it’s partially Mount Kimbie’s doing. Their wobbly synths are all over the track. Whatever it is, feel away has entered the life stage of “endless repeat.” I play it over and over, very aware that I might just kill it.