Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Ian Grimble and Richard Matthews of Communion Music at 2KHz, Crouch End, London
We sure do despair in the dark. We get one of those bleak, overcast days that seems to go on and on and we're sure that we are being conspired against. Digging free from one of those spells often takes more than we have in our shaky bones and our lean muscles. We just want to take some pills and let it have its way with us - just until everything can feel a bit less broken.
James Bay writes songs that a man who never got the chance to see the sun would write. They are sentiments that burn themselves from a head that's been rocked and from bloody, bleared eyes. They are sentiments that admit that there might not be much hope to cling to - that there's no blue bird keeping tabs on when it needs to circle back around to whistle a little tune for luck. They are sentiments that sound as if they're trying to make the best of sad situations. They are the laments of the slow-hearted lovers, who don't know where their nights or days come from, and why they can't get them a little more tailored to suit their needs.
The darkness, for Bay, comes from the slow dances that are mostly black and hopeless. They are those interactions that are supposed to lead to love, but most often never do. They are those words unspoken - those pained whispers that spill like lost light. They are dead fires, darts in the darkness of a running mind. The slow-hearted lovers that Bay sings about are stuck with their biggest issue - where their tenderness is going to come from when they need it the most - and they know that they're not going to see the sun do anything for them for a long time yet, with the morning starting out just as dark as the night before its birth.