James Humphrys - River

Track of the Week

We hope you’re all enjoying a nice relaxing bank holiday Monday! Just because it’s a bank holiday, doesn’t mean we don’t have new music to share with you all! Here’s the brilliant James Humphrys from BIMM Bristol with his latest single ‘River.’ Enjoy…

What was the inspiration behind your track?

The inspiration behind the song came from a lot of different things. Lyrically ‘The River’, in terms of themes, is the idea of filling some sort of void or loneliness. When you try to force a situation because you think it’ll be the answer or make you happy, when actually you’re just kidding yourself. It’s about relaxing into moments and letting things happen organically. But also, I was listening to a lot of French disco at the time. There is a French producer called Cerrone who ruled disco Europe in the 70’s, He has a track called ‘Love in C Minor’, which I think is a genius title. This might have rubbed off a little.

What did your songwriting process involve? 
The track began with this bass-line that worked over this chord progression I had, which ended up being the chorus. I looped the two and worked over it with different guitar pedals to create different textures and rhythms. I immediately had this vocal melody in my head that I couldn’t stop singing over it, so the song came together really easily, which is always a joy. It was just down to the arrangement after that. After I’d recorded everything, I took the project to my friend Ed Guillaume-Smith who produced it and we worked on polishing and cleaning it up a bit, as it was originally quite busy. He produced my previous EP ‘Sun Mantra’ so it was good to keep the sound and vibe consistent and true to those songs.

What things do you do differently to other bands?
I think it’s super hard to do things differently now, as everyone is trying to do the same thing and is able to show our online world that they’re the ones doing things differently. But the fact that I record all the instruments myself could separate me from the other bands maybe? But also I’m pretty vigilant on the bands choice of socks when we perform live. That’s pretty different. A lot can be said through a person’s choice of socks.

Can you describe your sound in three words?
Last time I was the BIMM Track of the Week with my song ‘Alone’, my three words were Tropical, Dream, Sandwich and I have continued to describe my sound as this since, so I am going to stick with that I think.

Have you channelled any artist in particular on this track?
Anyone who knows me, knows how much I like the Australian band Parcels at the moment. I’ve been lucky enough to see them 4 times last year at some festivals over the summer and then when they came to Bristol and headlined Thekla in November. So, I’d say I’ve definitely channelled a sprinkling of Parcels into this track for sure! I think you can hear it through the retro, 70’s influence whilst maintaining that modern twist. Although, I recently wrote an essay on them so I’m giving them a little break for a while…

What’s the best thing about studying at BIMM?
The best thing about studying at BIMM in my opinion is that you are surrounded by like-minded musicians and individuals who are all rooting for one another to do well and succeed in whatever area that is. There are lots of different opportunities to get your self out there, playing or just meeting new people. What you put in you’ll get out. I wouldn’t have a band together now with my best friends if it wasn’t for BIMM.

What’s the best bit of music advice you’ve been given?
I’m going to take a more safety inspired slant on this question. This advice came from my friend Christian. Protect them ears! Once you lose your hearing, you’ve lost your hearing. Remember to wear earplugs when you are rehearsing because tinnitus is probably really not great. That being said, recently I bought some expensive moulded earplugs and I always forget to wear them.

What’s next for you?
There are plans to get a video sorted for ‘The River’ soon, so keep an eye out for that. Next month I’ll be releasing another single and maybe the month after that. On the 26th of April the band and I will be heading back to London to do our second Sofar Sounds session, which is exciting. We’ve also got a headline show happening at The Crofters Rights, Bristol on 12th of June so look out for more news on that!



POSTED ON: March 28, 2018
  • Bristol