GRAMMY-winning singer-songwriter, James Blake, released his inaugural Spotify Singles recordings. For Side A, James reimagined the lead single, “Say What You Will,” from his upcoming album, Friends That Break Your Heart, and Side B is an acoustic cover of Bill Withers’ “Hope She’ll Be Happier.” Both songs are available on Spotify now.
Recorded at Third Encore Studios in Burbank, CA, the Spotify Singles version of “Say What You Will” is an instrumental re-work of the original with delicate percussion, strings, and bass driving the song, along with Blake’s sweeping vocal range. Blake’s interpretation of “Hope She’ll Be Happier” pays homage to Bill Withers’ original — capturing the vulnerable feeling of heartbreak with the addition of acoustic guitar, haunting vocals, and samples.
“I chose to do the Bill Withers cover because his live version of that is one of my favorite recordings of all time and it just stayed with me for years and years until finally, I decided to try and take it on. Obviously, that is a bit daunting because it’s Bill Withers, but hopefully we did it justice. I like the change of timbre for me, I like singing over a guitar, and I like including some new chords and some elements of sampling to kind of give it a slightly different spin.”
“With ‘Say What You Will’ it was just a matter of trying to incorporate enough elements in the song, so it felt full even though there’s only three of us playing it and there’s like seven parts in the song. I don’t think we really have enough hands, but we gave it our best shot.”
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