James announce the release of their new album Living In Extraordinary Times.
Released on 3 August, the album was produced by Mercury and Brit Award winner Charlie Andrew (whose previous work includes alt-J and Wolf Alice) and rising star Beni Giles.
Living In Extraordinary Times follows the release of their recent Better Than That EP, the band’s first new music since their hugely successful 2016 album Girl At The End Of The World, which debuted at #2 in the UK album charts, second only to Adele and their highest debut entry in nearly twenty years.
This is the band’s 15th studio album, and delivers the same vigour and urgency as its predecessors, a fusion of social commentary and personal reflection, covering everything from the current political climate in America in the frustration-charged Hank – “This crack heads tiny fingers / Accusing you of what he’ll do / White fascists in the white house / More beetroot in your Russian stew” – to the lonesome Father’s Day in the heartfelt Coming Home (PT. 2), which features keyboards from long-time collaborator Brian Eno.
Tim Booth said: “We knew something was up when Leicester city won the league then Brexit, then Trump. It’s as if we’d slipped into an alternate reality, a Philip K Dick reality. We are living in extraordinary times.”
The album started life during jam sessions at Sheffield’s Yellow Arch Studios and was finished at Iguana Studios in Brixton. Beni Giles was already working with the band on creating a new rhythmical approach when Charlie Andrew joined the project after being blown away by the band live. “This album is full of big tunes,” Charlie states. “Tim and the guys are all very good at writing huge hooks. There’s some really big, energetic tracks and some nice, chilled ones; and there are some monstrous tracks, like Hank, which is just vast with layers and layers of drums”.
The striking album artwork was created by contemporary artist and former Vivienne Westwood designer Magnus Hjoen. Gjoen draws inspiration from street and pop art aesthetics, juxtaposing them with fine art. His work challenges preconceived notions of objects, exploring the stark contrast between power and fragility, where something which is potentially extremely destructive can be made into beautiful yet fragile objects of art, tying in with the themes of the album by exploring the space between politics and tranquillity.
Living In Extraordinary Times will be available on CD, download, cassette and heavyweight double vinyl, plus a hardback booked deluxe CD featuring 4 extra tracks – three demos plus one track from the album sessions. HMV and independent stores will also stock a limited grey gatefold package featuring double magenta coloured vinyl.