band of the moment: james blake

james blake, which comes out february 7th, is probably the most anticipated album release of the first quarter of 2011. and not just by me. he’s made plenty of “best new acts of 2010” lists, including nme and stereogum, so it’s time for me to finally shine the well-deserved spotlight on this brit.

often referred to as an “electronic composer,” blake released 3 ep’s in 2010 (which were named #8 on pitchfork’s year-end list), including cmyk, which samples aaliyah’s “are you that somebody.”

and here’s “i only know (what i know now)” from the klavierwerke ep:

what sets him apart, though, is his voice. npr said it best:

What sets Blake aside from many dubstep producers, however, is his weathered croon — he’s only 21, but his voice carries a maturity usually found in grizzled veterans. Its impact is compounded by fearless patience; Blake generously uses space and silence in his works, a stark contrast from the raw timbre of his layered vocals. Blake takes the soulful sounds that dubstep producers have typically sampled, and instead lets his voice speak for itself. The impact is immediate and astonishing.

check out his cover of feist’s limit to your love,” a single off james blake,which showcases exactly what he’s capable of doing:


~ by CJL on December 30, 2010.

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