See James Blake’s ‘Overgrown,’ a Beautiful Study in Impermanence
From the post-dubstep soul man's new 'Overgrown' LP
James Blake has at last released the follow-up to 2011’s self-titled masterpiece. Overgrown is a beautifully complex album, and its titular track is an undeniable high point. As SPIN’s own Brandon Soderberg wrote, the song “gives us our most sumptuous view yet: A slow smolder of a track built around chary piano chords and wordless vocal enunciations, it widens into a gorgeous swell of programmed strings, cymbals, and Blake’s evocative plaint.” He sings of time passing, and on the chorus coos, “I don’t want to be a star / But a stone on the shore / A lone door framed in a wall / When everything is overgrown.”
Those themes emerge again in the music video above, directed by the truly inspired Nabil Elderkin (the man behind Foals’ harrowing “Late Night,” Frank Ocean’s enigmatic “Pyramids,” and Kanye West’s epic “Mercy”). Blake awakes in a small seaside cabin and looks out of his windows to discover that days are passing like minutes. He walks outside and walks to the shore followed by dancing specters — death nipping at his heels. It’s dark and sad and just a little bit mystical, just like the song itself.