slowthai jumps on a track for the bonus version of James Blake’s album ‘Friends That Break Your Heart’

"All artists think their new album is their best album… But it actually is."

12.10.21, Words by: Maisie Goulsbra

James Blake drops a bonus version of his recent album ‘Friends That Break Your Heart’ with a new version of ‘Funeral’ featuring slowthai. ‘Friends That Break Your Heart’ is the GRAMMY Award-winning UK singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer’s first full-length album in two years and his fifth studio album to date. It includes collaborations from JID & SwaVay, Monica Martin and SZA, reflecting a journey of anguish, regret and heartbreak, traversing across impeccable sound design – instantly recognisable as Blake through his restrained, spacious production, that entwines the signature sounds and genres of his collaborators.

Introducing the album’s twelve tracks, lead track ‘Famous Last Words’ eases in with electronica and Blake’s raw vocal. Second track ‘Life Is Not The Same’, is an unfussy and minimal reminiscence of a relationship gone by. ‘Coming Back’ opens out into a section that SZA spritzes with her R&B vocal. Sad song ‘Funeral’ is a documentation of grief for self-identity, and ‘Frozen’ merges a version of ethereal, warped hip hop with features from SwaVay and JID of Spillage Village, the group founded by EarthGang.

‘I’m So Blessed You’re Mine’ is fuller in texture, shrouding glimmering hope with a thick bassline. ‘Foot Forward’ moves the album forward, closer to a state of climax, with a vocal crescendo that screams desperation, cloaked in enchanting piano chords. In ‘Show Me’, Blake’s production and deeper vocal touches with Monica Martin’s angelic singing, before ‘Say What You Will’, the track that was released as a single and music video featuring FINNEAS plays out. ‘Lost Angel Lights’ lulls the listener into a starry eyed but painful reminiscence of someone special, and ‘Friends That Break Your Heart’ leads to the finale, in a way that feels accepting of all that is said on the album before ‘If I’m Insecure’ withdraws into a delicate self-assuredness.

Of the album, James says, “This album is my favorite so far. I know that’s what you’d expect me to say because I made it, and all artists think their new album is their best album… But it actually is, so…” In between then and now, Blake’s partner, actress, presenter and actress, Jameela Jamil responded to criticism of her production credits on the album, stating, “You are part of the problem of why women don’t pursue producing.”

Since then, Blake has dropped a new version of his track ‘Funeral’ with slowthai, which premiered on TV as a performance on ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’. The pair performed sat at a keyboard decorated with flowers, looking like a coffin, with slowthai jumping in on the keys at the end. It also came out with a music video, watch it below.

Stream ‘Friends That Break Your Heart’ on your preferred service here.

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