Working like a Trojan, James Humphrys has unquestionably earned his performing stripes. The Bristol-based indie-pop singer can often be found sailing our seas in his multi-instrumentalist role aboard cruise ships, but creativity for him runs deep, and when he’s not performing, he’s producing his own, fresh sounds. Although it sits at the funkier end of pop, his music celebrates the odd jazz element, giving it a playful vibe.
Eager James’ name is on the up, with him already boasting of a place on Spotify’s New Music Friday and Hot New Bands playlists. In 2017, he released EP Sun Mantra claiming airspace on numerous radio stations. With a few more singles under his belt, he achieved a sold-out headline show at The Crofters Rights, and after a 2018 Glasto slot, his belief was cemented that this has to be his destiny.
This brings us to his latest contribution, Colour, which was written off the coast of Alaska no less. At one of his exploration sessions, armed with his midi-keyboard, mic, and electric guitar, he let out those thoughts that had been swirling around his expressive head, which were then fully recorded on his return. Released this Friday, May 15th, it is the first track to be shared from second EP Memory Palace, offered to us on July 10th.
The track is mid-tempo and has an uplifting, soulful edge, and leading the way are its laid back grooves, giving it a sunny disposition. It’s easy to hear the range of James’ voice as the song moves along steadily, causing shoulders to roll and bop until we hit a brass section that Mark Ronson would be proud of. The lyrics proclaim, “You’re hiding from the world outside, you can’t see how it seems to me,” This is addressing that one pal that we know who just isn’t their true self when they are in a crowd; their words may not be pure, but the colours are clear.
This textured and layered song joins the popular and current trend for melodic Indie-pop from the likes of Blossoms, Peach Pit, and Bombay Bicycle Club, where the addition of playing musicians to the genre is gratefully received. James Humphrys' is fast becoming part of their society.
Article by Beverley Knight