Manchester stalwarts James will return with their 16th studio album — and first in three years — this June with the release of All the Colours of You, an 11-track set that was partially recorded before COVID-19, but which features a title track inspired by the pandemic’s lockdowns and the concurrent racial justice movement in America.
You can stream the single “All the Colours of You” below.
Frontman Tim Booth describes the song as his being informed by living in the U.S. during the culmination of the Trump years:
“A polaroid of COVID lockdown during a civil rights revolution in America. The Proud Boys and other white terror organizations are an updated version of the Klan. ‘Your white robes showing through’ I wrote the ‘coup coup coup coup’ lyric six months before the coup attempt.”
The album is due out June 4 via Virgin Music Label & Artist Services and it was produced by Jacknife Lee, who previously has worked with U2, R.E.M. and Snow Patrol.
According to the band’s publicists, the album was finished virtually, with Booth working in Lee’s Los Angeles-area studio and sending tracks to bassist Jim Glennie. Lyrically, Booth was impacted by the pandemic and California’s apocalyptic wildfires, which forced him to evacuate his home three times.
“With all the shit that went down in 2020 this was a miraculous conception and another big jump forward for us on the back of the last three albums. I hope it reflects the colors of these crazy times. Sweet 16 is a proper album, no fillers and is up there with our best.”
Hear the lead single and check out the tracklist below.
James, All the Colours of You
2. “All The Colours Of You”
4. “Beautiful Beaches”
5. “Wherever It Takes Us”
7. “Miss Amer’ica”
8. “Getting Myself Into”
9. “Magic Bus”
PREVIOUSLY ON SLICING UP EYEBALLS
- James announces new album ‘La Petite Mort,’ streams new song ‘Frozen Britain’
- James enlists Echo & The Bunnymen for U.K. tour in support of ‘Gathering Sound’ box set
- James unveils U.S. dates around Coachella, finally will release ‘Gathering Sound’ box
- Coachella 2012: Pulp, fIREHOSE, Buzzcocks, James, Squeeze, Madness on the bill
- James releasing career-spanning ‘Gathering Sound’ box set with 32 unreleased tracks
James touched on some of the Trump/white nationalist issues on Living in Extraordinary Times. By no means have these issues been resolved, but those songs, like this are going to sound lyrically dated in short order.
I’m not saying this song is at the level of Neil Young’s “Ohio” but those lyrics are as time specific as you get, and they don’t detract from the impact of that song today.
Honestly, haven’t listened to James since their ’90s heyday, didn’t even know they were still around. Other than the “quarantine with you…” line (which felt unnecessarily blunt) I thought “All the Colours… ” was well done.
I agree w Chris, the tidal wave of “I was in quarantine without you” songs is not going to age well. It’s specific to a feeling people are not going to look to revisit for one, and it’s not really relatable in another way such as long distance relationships. Plus everyone is saying exactly the same things. So the subject matter has limited use, if at all.
So songs like this “are going to sound lyrically dated in short order” – only accurate if we never see another pandemic like COVID-19. I’d recommend not listening to “Wearin’ My Mask” by Beck’s former DJ (DJ Swamp)