• Muzik First


Singer and producer James Blake has released his fifth studio album, "Friends That Break Your Heart," which has what he calls “a Ronseal title.” It’s all about the uneasy emotional terrain we find ourselves treading when friendships end. This subject matter is perfect for an artist who enjoys nudging his clever, melancholy electronica into experimental sonic zones. The 33-year-old built his name on music scattered with awkward silences and elegantly constructed synth-soul melodies, pitch-shifted and dub stepped anxiously around their soft centres. Although, "Friends That Break Your Heart" isn’t a total return to the wintry grey-blue detachments of Blake’s earlier work. The sadness he expresses here is more engaged and autumnal, as he thinks about the friends he left behind while moving from England to America. He was born and raised in Greater London. Now a resident of Los Angeles—he arrived on the scene at an exciting time for electronic music in the U.K. Now age 33, he released his first single in 2009 and was instantly among the most promising producers working in the realm of what was sometimes called post-dubstep, alongside others such as Untold and Mount Kimbie. "Friends That Break Your Heart" follows 2019’s "Assume Form," Blake issued two EPs last year: "Covers" and "Before." He’s also contributed to new projects by Slowthai, Starrah, and Flatbush Zombies. He’s still set to tour the United States this fall.