This Just In: James Bay Returns with Intimate, Electrifying “Wild Love”

James Bay © Sarah Piantadosi

Let our hearts be the only sound

More John Mayer-meets-Jack Garratt than Neil Young, “Wild Love” may not be what we expected, but it’s an enchanting emotional thrill we’ll be riding over and over.

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Love is euphoric; love is magical; love is overwhelming; love is breathtaking. You can’t fake love, and you can’t fake singing about love: It’s something you have to truly experience to portray James Bay’s electrifying comeback single “Wild Love” is a heavy and heartfelt tribute to intimacy and connection, an ode to the feeling of falling for someone.

Don’t know what to say to you now
Standing right in front of you
Don’t know how to fade in and out
Don’t know how to play it cool
Losing a little guard, let it down
We don’t have to think it through
We’ve got to let go
Listen: “Wild Love” – James Bay


He’s tossed his hat and cut his hair, but James Bay is still the same emotionally-charged singer/songwriter we fell for five years ago. Emerging in 2013 with the dynamic, acoustic-guitar driven “When We Were on Fire,” the English artist made a name for himself by issuing intimate and evocative melodies through his rich, raw voice. His acclaimed 2015 debut album Chaos and the Calm (Republic Records) took full advantage of the studio space, allowing James Bay to evolve from a man and his guitar into a full band outfit. Hits like “Hold Back the River” and “Let It Go” found Bay’s soulful singing and incredible guitarwork boosted by drums, keys and bass. With long dark hair falling over his shoulders, Bay was your quintessential folk influenced, rock-driven singer/songwriter.

It’s safe to say he’s evolved to even greater heights now.

James Bay’s highly anticipated comeback single “Wild Love” introduces us to a whole new side of Bay’s artistry. Soft and pulsing, the beat-driven ballad finds Bay crooning an intimate, sweet song full of warmth. He’s had a quite a few more instruments at his fingertips for some time now, and it’s clear he’s made great use of his time – exploring a wide range of timbres and colors, dabbling in different spaces, and plainly discovering more about himself along the way.

More John Mayer-meets-Jack Garratt than Neil Young, “Wild Love” may not be what we expected, but it’s an enchanting emotional thrill we’ll be riding over and over.

Wild Love - James Bay

Wild Love – James Bay

I wanna give you wild love
The kind that never slows down
I wanna take you high up
That our hearts be the only sound
I wanna go where the lights burn low and you’re only mine
I wanna give you wild love

“’Wild Love’ is about the experience of falling for someone,” Bay shared through press. “Something you can feel immediately when you meet them for the first time, or which rekindles throughout a relationship. It’s also about yearning for someone – whether that’s the person you can’t keep your eyes off across the room, or in my experience, the person you don’t stop thinking about wherever you are in the world.”

He continues: “I know some of this new sound was not apparent on my first album – there were hints, perhaps – but I think my new music helps to paint a fuller picture of who I am. As soon as I recognized I was being pinned down as ‘the intimate acoustic guitar guy’ I realized I knew I had to push myself musically. I want it as part of my arsenal, but I don’t want that solely to define me. I’m not there yet, but hope that this new music can do for singer-songwriter, loosely, what Drake and Chance The Rapper are doing for their genre: tearing up the rule book.”

Tried to call you, to feel you close
From a runway in Tokyo
Let’s leave the atmosphere, disappear
There’s always something left to loose
James Bay © Sarah Piantadosi

James Bay © Sarah Piantadosi

A spirited slow jam, “Wild Love” captures the uplifting elation of love through deep rhythms and raw, passionate cries. Bay continues to uphold the traits we first adored: Lyrical complexity, emotional power, and musical depth – but in developing these qualities in new musical territories, he shows himself to be in it for the long haul: An artist of many colors and limitless potential.

‘Tis the season: We’re falling for James Bay all over again, but this time it’s a “Wild Love.”

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:: stream/purchase “Wild Love” here ::

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Wild Love - James Bay

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photo © Sarah Piantadosi

James Bay’s Chaos and the Calm: A Track-by-Track Review

by Mitch Mosk

:: Stream James Bay ::

:: James Bay Tour Dates ::

March 15th London Brixton Electric
March 25th Seattle, WA The Showbox
March 27th San Francisco, CA The Fillmore
March 28th Los Angeles, CA Belasco Theater
March 31st Chicago, IL Metro
April 2nd Washington, D.C. Lincoln Theatre
April 3rd Brooklyn, NY Brooklyn Steel
April 5th Boston, MA Royale NightClub
April 6th Philadelphia, PA Theatre of Living Arts (TLA)
April 8th Toronto, ON Danforth Music Hall
tix and more info at jamesbay.com

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com