Review: James Bay – If You Ever Want To Be In Love
Upon hearing the hauntingly beautiful opening melodies of ‘Hold Back The River’ play out on the radio, I have loved everything about his music, everything he represents as an artist and knew instantly that James Bay would go on to become the next big thing.
Almost a year later following huge success from his anticipated debut album, a Brits Critics Choice Award and a sell out UK tour, The Hitchin born singer-songwriter, who has recently shown his support for the reopening of Pop Recs in Sunderland, returned last month with the release of his forth single ‘If You Ever Want To Be In Love’. A follow on from his previously popular single ‘Scars’ out earlier this year from the number one album Chaos And The Calm.
Similar to earlier single ‘Hold Back The River’, this latest track offers fans a taste of the Bay’s renowned indie rock sound- a vibe they have grown to love in his music over the past year or so. Although, this new track has taken him in a slightly more upbeat feel-good direction to the more raw indie sounding ‘Let It Go’ and ‘Scars’.
Accompanied by a music video that encapsulates all elements of an intimate live gig, the track offers elements of catchy mainstream pop with riffs slightly similar to those featured in Kodaline’s single ‘Love Like This’ and a subtle nod to folk music seemingly inspired by greats such as Eric Clapton. The tracks different melodies and sounds compared to other songs featured on his album makes for great listening as a whole and when placed alongside ‘Best Fake Smile’ appears to be a highlight of the album itself.
That being said and despite the mainstream pop vibe coming through in parts, ‘If You Ever Want To Be In Love’ is indie-folk rock at its height. The delightful feel-good sound makes listening to this new song almost definitely worthwhile and thoroughly enjoyable for fans of his music in particular.
The laid- back indie direction of this latest offering is encapsulated throughout both the track and video which is set in small Camden pub for the ultimate intimate indie rock gig atmosphere the introduction featuring a soft keyboard-guitar mix complemented perfectly by the husky tones of James Bay’s vocal style and acoustic-electric guitar mix creating a sweet folk sound.
In terms of an all round brilliant indie rock track – the track has everything that in my eyes not only makes it a highlight of his album but could potentially make it a very popular track. It is the perfect mix of feel-good folk pop, infectious melodies and fantastic vocals that make it a highlight of his debut album.
‘If You Ever Want To Be In Love’ captures all that James Bay appears to be as an artist and all that is brilliant about his music as a whole with its incredibly catchy introductory keyboard-guitar mix, toe-tapping melodies mix of acoustic and electric elements and husky vocal style that complements the track perfectly and show he has grown and developed as an artist since the release of Hold Back The River.
James Bay is most definitely an artist our generation and has definitely grown in the past year. Although he has practically just got started I am already a huge fan and have been from the start. He has certainly proven why he was a worthy winner of the Brits Critics Choice and will most likely be around for a long time to come.