06 ‘Limit To Your Love’ – James Blake – James Blake

  • cover of Feist song
  • just the chorus (or single section) of the original, repeated
  • piano + vox + subtle percussion (woodblock?) or is it the piano pedals?
  • first section ends with delay on piano and vocal
  • deep, oscillating bass and kik/rim shot enters in second repeat, no piano
  • return to piano + vox, no bass or beats
  • piano drops outs, bass and beat returns
  • beat and bass drops outs
  • delayed piano and vox lead into long pause
  • all inst in for final section, bass + vox solo, piano returns, beats return to solo fade out…

KEY IDEAS to plunder

  1. deep, oscillating bass
  2. long pause with delays fading out

05 ‘Lindisfarne II’ – James Blake – James Blake

  • continuation lyrically, of previous track
  • beats added – incl. woody tuned offbeat
  • acoustic guitar (with interesting distortion)
  • takes last line of part 1 and makes it a harmonised chorus
  • verse sung over/under chorus
  • beats drop out for mid section, then return
  • second mid section (drum solo?) – guitar and vox drop out
  • all returns for final section

KEY IDEAS to plunder

  1. distorted acoustic guitar – sound like mic distortion?
  2. off beat woody tuned percussion

04 ‘Lindisfarne I’ – James Blake – James Blake

  • vocals only – heavy autotune manipulations
  • (reminiscent of imogen heap’s ‘hide and seek’)
  • longest lyrics on the album so far
  • some electronics (sweeping phaser?) at the end
  • leads in to part 2…

KEY IDEAS to plunder

  1. solo vocals
  2. ringing phasing effect

James Blake (2011) – James Blake

  1. unconventional song structures
  2. multiple layers of vocals and overt electronic manipulation
  3. sparse, minimal materials yet result is rich
  4. lyrically economical – often a single line is repeated for an entire song. non-narrative lyrics
  5. use of electronics yet still highly emotive – coldly modern yet traditionally emotive at the same time
  6. extreme bass

01 ‘Unluck’ – James Blake – James Blake

  1. overlapping lyric – almost a round
  2. poly rhythmic hi hat

02 ‘The Wilhelm Scream’ – James Blake – James Blake

  1. overall structure with noise crescendo
  2. single melody/lyric line repeated

03 ‘I Never Learnt To Share’ – James Blake – James Blake

  1. crescendo plateaus into loop
  2. single line repeated but with gaps and last paraphrase repeats

04 ‘Lindisfarne I’ – James Blake – James Blake

  1. solo vocals – reminiscent of imogen heap’s ‘hide and seek’
  2. ringing phasing effect

05 ‘Lindisfarne II’ – James Blake – James Blake

  1. distorted acoustic guitar – sound like mic distortion?
  2. off beat woody tuned percussion

06 ‘Limit To Your Love’ – James Blake – James Blake

  1. deep, oscillating bass
  2. long pause with delays fading out

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

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

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

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

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

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

10 ‘I Mind’ – James Blake – James Blake

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

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

03 ‘I Never Learnt To Share’ – James Blake – James Blake

  • begins with solo vocal
  • single repeated lyric/melody line
  • first repeat adds a harmony
  • second repeat adds a second harmony
  • organ enters halfway through the above
  • distorted, bubbling organ (almost soloing) turns into chords
  • bass enters next time around
  • vox repeats stop leaving kik/snr/hat (all one the beat) plus offbeat finger click, delayed organ
  • vox returns with rim shot
  • vox harmonies repeat in a round
  • organ and bass get busier, melodic runs
  • last line is repeated, overlapped while organ goes crazy ascending (out of key on the way)
  • plateaus into a 3 chord loop, tremelo-ing
  • vox drop out
  • drums stop
  • organ fades

KEY IDEAS to plunder

  1. crescendo plateaus into loop
  2. single line repeated but with gaps and last paraphrase repeats
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