Jan 22, 2019

JAMES CROOKS - BLAME MY SOUL


Melbourne-based, Newcastle-raised producer and multi-instrumentalist James Crooks launches his debut body of work Blame My Soul on Friday, 18 January via Liberation Records.

Blame My Soul consists of six songs finely constructed over the past two years. The EP features vocals from Tyne-James Organ, Paige IVBOI (from L D R U’s 2017 track ‘Me’), Sam PhayDives and Coast & Ocean. The record takes the listener on a journey with a heartbreaking muse, having been inspired by the ending of a relationship.

“If it wasn’t for music I would probably bury a bunch of feelings that are important to express,” Crooks notes.

The Blame My Soul EP leads with current single and infectiously poppy opener ‘LaLaLa (feat. Dives)’. Crooks’ production plays with layers of percussion and tropical synths to create a glistening, feel-good track.

“The chorus represents a care-free message, as if someone was telling you to do something correctly but you don’t really see their point. ‘LaLaLa’ represents a positive response to a negative with a little tongue and cheek,” explains Crooks.

Keeping in theme with the majority of the songs on the EP, title track ‘Blame My Soul’ offers a juxtaposition of upbeat, tropical vibes set alongside deep, dark and emotive lyrics – “Forever drinking/Stoned and alone/What to do/But I’m still thinking/Losing my way/Losing my soul/Losing my way.”

The first single and last track on the EP, ‘Move On’, is moody and emotive with an infectious beat and inviting melody. To complete the arrangement, James Crooks enlisted a heart-wrenching vocal from local artist Coast & Ocean (aka Alex Johnson).

Prior to news of the Blame My Soul release, James Crooks dropped ‘Naturally (feat. Paige IV)’ (aka Sarah Aarons) – a standout on the EP. Long-time friend of James Crooks, Sarah Aarons’ co-writing prowess can be heard on Zedd and Alessia Cara’s US #1 hit ‘Stay’, as well as in the lending of her recognisable vocal to L D R U’s ‘I’m Not Keeping Score’ and The Rubens’ ‘Never Ever (feat. Sarah)’.

James Crooks’ past releases also include ‘Not Going Away (feat. Kate Martin)’ and ‘Be Like You (feat. ASTA)’ with one half of Bliss n Eso – Esoterik.

James Crooks boasts co-writes with the likes of RÜFÜS DU SOL, Bliss N Eso, Thelma Plum, Esoterik, Tyne-James Organ, and more, and has toured with Thelma Plum, Glass Animals, HEALTH, SAFIA and Chance Waters, to name but a few.

Blame My Soul is out now through Liberation.