James Bay is in the midst of a comeback, except its not a comeback. Hes been here all along.
The singer has been quiet of late, with his last release back in 2016, and his first album in 2015, so its fair to say hes seemingly been on a break.
But not for James, hes been working away on the new record, touring, being creative, progressing his sound and crafting his new record. He never went away.
Its this funny landscape that you have to be so present in every way these days, he told Metro.co.uk. To be in existence in pop culture then you cant sort of sleep.
I wasnt actually away for a full year. I was still touring until Christmas 2016 and November 2017 I was back out talking to people about new music coming out. Five minutes is five years in the pop music world.
Yeah but James thats just because we want new tunes!
So basically, dont call it a comeback, because hes been here all along.
Some people say they think I took a hiatus, and I think to myself thats a pretty heavy word, he said. The word used to mean bands would take five, ten years out – thats what I know a hiatus to be and I never meant it to come across like that.
But I was always trying to get back as fast as I could.
He plans to change that going forward, combining touring and making music.
He told us: Going forward Im hoping to get the music out quicker.
People now are much more ready to tour tour tour, take a week to write, tour some more, collect songs in that time, keep touring, put the songs out, with more touring coming up. I wasnt doing that in the past, but Im excited to give it a go.
The new album is a progression from the 2015 Chaos and Calm, each song is distinctive from the last, the record is more pop and less bluesy – a favourite of mine is Wanderlust. The influences are clear to hear; the greats of David Bowie Prince and Michael Jackson can be heard filtering in through the tracks, but theres also the clear influence of the likes of Frank Ocean and Lord.
And Electric Light has a certain anthemic quality, as James explained he wrote the music for a bigger audience. This time hes going big.
Hes aiming for arenas, after having a taste of it while touring with Taylor Swift.
I like playing intimate venues, but Im on this journey of playing bigger and bigger venues and Im keen to keep on that journey, reach the arenas and beyond, he said. Thats the dream and the music is written with that in mind.
My goal is to always aim bigger.
Electric Light is out now.