It's almost too perfect that James Blake affectedly croons "we're alone now," on "Retrograde," the first single from his forthcoming sophomore effort Overgrown. In its most hushed moments, the small ember of Blake's music can make any place seem desolate. The wordless vocals that waft in come like a call from another room and soon Blake is singing of love and loss, and world's where "you're on your own." In true R&B fashion, Blake crafts the following chorus into a loverman ode, asking the apple of his eye to "show me why you're strong, ignore everybody else, we're alone now." The first time Blake sings the line his pitch-shifting voice plummets into a wallow. Not long after valley comes Blake's ascent to the mountain, when the synths, keyboards, and clattering drum machines reach a musical zeitgeist as Blake is hit by the "starkness of the dawn." The bravado of "nostalgic" tracks like "CMYK" soon dissipates and all that's left is a machine-like whisper. When you're alone for so long, it's hard to keep company around.
Overgrown is out April 8 on the Republic record label.