11 ‘Measurements’ – James Blake – James Blake

  • gospel style
  • lyric: 4 lines repeated 4 times
  • harmonies: different phrasings/different lyrics (slightly)
  • 1st section: vox and organ, harmonies join later
  • 2nd section: organ drops out, deep bass line. all vox harmonies
  • very hissy – overdub artefact? hiss becomes musical texture, pops on and off
  • 3rd section: vox only
  • short electronic melody at end

KEY IDEAS to plunder

  1. harmonies with slight differences – reminiscent of queen’s ‘somebody to love’
  2. hiss/overdub artefact as deliberate texture

10 ‘I Mind’ – James Blake – James Blake

  • two word lyric – practically no lead vox
  • two note oscillating vox loop “i mind” bed (starts with edit pop)
  • overlayed with other 2 note vox loop – changes pitch but not tempo) – other lyric? i hear an ‘s’…
  • electronic beat drops in for 2nd and 4th (double time) sections
  • low bass (kik?) only one note
  • ‘guitar’ chord stab with white noise in 3rd section
  • thereafter reverse white noise functions as opening hi hat – ducked by kik?
  • fade out – only track on the album that fades out

KEY IDEAS to plunder

  1. vox loop layers as harmony and melody
  2. white noise as cymbal (swell, reverse ‘open hi hat’) – ducked by kik

09 ‘Why Don’t You Call Me’ – James Blake – James Blake

  • two line lyric, repeated
  • piano + vox beginning
  • popping edits begin with piano and background noise
  • then processed hi vocal joins
  • descending bass line joins to end
  • very short song (1:36)

KEY IDEAS to plunder

  1. begin with ‘live performed’ section, then build track from edited loops of same material
  2. use edit pops as beat

08 ‘To Care (Like You)’ – James Blake – James Blake

  • lyric double meaning by being homophones “how forlorn to watch you go / how full on to watch you grow”
  • begins with vox, joined by single chord pad
  • little insert of popping edited processed high vocal
  • low harmony vox joins
  • unexpected backing enters. beat with low bass, organ pads and pop edit vox loop
  • fast electronic woodblock is a feature of the beat
  • pop edit vox loop changes chord and back again (pitch shift without tempo shift)
  • ‘chorus’ vox sounds pitch shifted up (live performances feature another vocalist for this part – presumably to recreate this pitch shifted timbre)
  •  breakdown section: low bas + vox, then organ pads + vox, then opo edit vox loop solo
  • all returns for second half, repeats first main section
  • ends with solo vox loop

KEY IDEAS to plunder

  1. popping edit loop, changing chord, as backbone of song
  2. double meaning homophones

07 ‘Give Me My Month’ – James Blake – James Blake

  • piano & vox (uneffected)
  • single take live performance (ie. piano and vox recorded simultaneously)
  • some faint background noise
  • very little lyric repetition (compared to previous tracks)
  • short (1:56)
  • feels like an interlude, a break from the processed electronics, midway through the album

KEY IDEAS to plunder

  1. live performance recorded in a sonically interesting place (ie. background sound)
  2. falsetto vocals
Return top