Singled Out: James' Moving On
My connection with James is a long and evolving one. The first time I heard their music was sitting at a friend's house, aged 18, stoned and confused. 'Sometimes' was playing, I remember feeling something that until then I didn't know pop music could make you feel. I thought crying was only for when you feel loss or sadness. Pop music, but woven with something sincere and yearning, passionate and beautiful. It was 1997, Britpop was happening and I'd just started my first band, I was falling in love with music and trying to figure out who I was and what I wanted my life to be. I was emboldened by the Gallagher swagger, excited and inspired by Blur and Pulp, but James's music spoke to me like no other band of that era. James didn't seem to really belong to that era, they orbited it, danced around it, but they were their own branch, growing off in their own direction. It's telling for me that as Britpop died away and my love for those bands faded into nostalgia, I remain as curious for the next James record as I ever was.
It is 2003, and I find myself with Saul and Mark, the guitarist and keyboards player from the band. We are recording an album in a makeshift studio in the dusty loft of a French Chβteaux. A turn on a music reality show named Fame Academy and subsequent recording contract with the same label the band were signed to lead to an introduction. Fate delivered to me a long, wonderful summer with them, recording pop songs, eating cheese, drinking red wine and flirting with the French girls of the local village. Je suis un poisson, je n'ai pas d'eau..
It's now the day after I finished the film and I'm exhausted, bleary eyed and looking forward to joining in with the spring that I hear is happening outside. I'm so grateful Michael Hughes, the other animator who I gave all the difficult shots to. Thank you for your skill and patience in tolerating my terrible perfectionism. Most importantly, I feel delighted with what we've achieved, I think we've made something kind of special. I feel so honoured to have been able to contribute something, in my own small way to this magical thing that is James.
Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the video, watch for yourself right here!