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.
It’s the first day of fall. Not technically, but last night a crisp air flooded NYC and turned the leaves in Queens. From the Ridgewood M station platform, the flat roofs give way to the treetops in Highland Park.
Usually, I’ll throw on the headphones and avoid shifting eyes for the 48-minute commute into the city. Today, I actually see the other passengers: a boy running a toy truck along the window, a quiet woman juggling papers, coffee, and a cell phone, a brace-faced teen laughing with her friend while studying for a test.
Between the weather, the view, the unusually serene train ride, and the following song, my mind saves this memory as the mark of a new season.
Fascinating song by the British duo, Mount Kimbie. Their dis-harmonic style will definitely test your musical boundaries. Certainly not a song designed for partying or any group setting for that matter. This one lives in your head as a production masterpiece.
Give er’ time to build.
“I remember the first show we ever did – actually getting paid money to play in this church in Oslo. It was a really bizarre feeling, almost like we’d cheated the system.”
*Editor’s note: After posting this I realized that Francois posted Made to Stray over a year ago. We weren’t even tagging our posts back then. Touche Frankie.