When I was introduced to James Blake’s eponymous debut album in 2011, it was like nothing I had ever heard. It was jazz, in the truest sense of the word, set to modern synths and those strained, pleading vocals I would come to love. With a Grammy tucked securely under his belt, Blake went on to become one of the most influential underground artists of the last five years. Never satisfied settling for sales success over content, his new track “Roman Patience” proves Blake is still keen to experiment.
The track begins with a traipsing piano line, reminiscent of a ruminating drunk stumbling along the street in the drizzle of an early afternoon. The drunk takes a wrong turn, careening into a sinister bass line punctuated by eerie, alien grunts. With minimalist percussion and running fewer than two minutes in length, Blake dropped this track during his late night DJ session on BBC One Radio right next to his remix of Kendrick Lamar’s “m.A.A.d City,” which you can listen to here. Take a listen to “Roman Patience” above.