Post-release of his ballad single “Whispers”, James Holt is back with a powerful, lyric-driven anthem “Alone Again”. Mastered by legendary Abbey Road Studios engineer Frank Arkwright (Elton John, Arcade Fire, The Smiths, The Killers, Scott Walker, Johnny Marr], the release follows widespread support from a host of revered musicians, DJs, and radio hosts. Among them: Brian Eno, Dermot O’Leary, KCRW, BBC Radio 6 Music, Radio X (John Kennedy), KEXP, XS Manchester, BBC Radio Manchester, BBC Radio Lancashire, BBC Introducing and Amazing Radio.
With retro outfits and bar as a setting, James’ single carries the vibes from the 60s. The track talks about a failed tale of love and James explains,
“There are three separate narratives in ‘Alone Again’ with the underlying theme of loneliness and regret. In the first verse the character loses his love in death (‘never-ending dream’), in the second he never told his love of his feelings (‘I should have screamed when I was whispering’) and in the final verse he blames himself for suffocating their passions (‘like fire clings to a burning man I have smothered you’).”
But the music video offers an alternative perspective. While the protagonist despairs about his inability to confess his feelings, the video also shows that the other side was not necessarily compliant. The female protagonist seems to have an interest in the other man which puts the male protagonist’s perspective in question. Thematically, visually, and lyrically, “Alone Again” is an interesting song.
The 24-year-old Mancunian provides lead vocals, backing vocals and plays all instruments (excluding drums) on ‘Alone Again’ and he has, once again, brought in the production wizardry of Jim Spencer (Johnny Marr, The Charlatans) to create layers of reverb and different filters, allowing each part in the song to have a stark contrast to each section as James explains:
“I really enjoy subverting people’s expectations in songs through sudden tempo changes, similar to Brian Wilson’s production method of splicing together of different sections, which gives ‘Alone Again’ an angular quality. I’ve always loved the classic songs of the 60/70s and – drawing inspiration from The Beatles (the Rubber Soul / Revolver years) and the dramatic variety of early Scott Walker – I aimed to write a song that pays homage to that golden era of songwriting.
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