James Blake Announces Covers EP, Eno-Guided Ambient Album

James Blake Announces Covers EP, Eno-Guided Ambient Album

Following a series of quarantine livestreams featuring covers by request and studio versions of Frank Ocean’s “Godspeed” and Roberta Flack’s “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face,” James Blake has officially announced a new covers EP out 12/11. “It wasn’t planned, but it materialised through requests from you guys,” Blake wrote on Twitter. “Thank you cause I’ve loved making this thing.”

And that’s not the only new music Blake’s been working on. In an appearance on Radio.com’s New Arrivals With Bryce Segall, Blake reveals that he’s made an ambient album with some guidance from ambient god Brian Eno. “I’ve basically made an ambient album, but I just don’t really know when to put it out, so we’ll see,” he says. “It’s at that point where you go ‘oh this is an album!’”

Blake says that the music was born out of a period of particular anxiety. “The only thing that would make me calm was either Brian Eno or Ryuichi Sakamoto, and so I decided to just make a bunch of ambient music … I got sick of beats,” he says. “I need a beat holiday, so I made all this ambient music and I have to say, I love it.”

Blake sent the record over to “guiding light” Brian Eno “to see what he thought and when his feedback was positive, that’s when I decided I would put it out one day … He gave some constructive criticism and was just very encouraging because you know it’s a different genre and you’re stepping into something that you can’t necessarily just nail. Ambient music can be delicate, just taking beats away from music, drum beats I mean, does not an ambient album make.”

Blake also has something in the works with inveterate collaborator Ty Dolla $ign. “What I will say is that Ty Dolla $ign is a fucking pleasure to work with and be around,” he says. “I don’t know what it is yet. We made music … who knows … I feel like we’re really at the start of a burgeoning thing and it’s exciting to see where that goes, again it’s a privilege to work with him.”

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