The New LoFi

Ten Years

James Blake to release sixth studio album: “Playing Robots into Heaven”

Every once in a while a record passes my desk that makes me do a double-take. When this copy of “Loading” crossed my desk — the new single from James Blake’s upcoming album, Playing Robots into Heaven — I looked again.

I’m not sure if it was because an artist as talented and celebrated like James Blake was looking for us to help promote his new album, or because I was excited that he was releasing his sixth studio album.

The last time we heard from Blake was when he released his post-pandemic album in 2021 entitled Friends That Break Your Heart. Shortly after, he followed this up with a more ambient concept album called Wind Down which was created by using artificial intelligence and designed to help listeners fall asleep. This all while we saw Blake join up to create several collaborations with the likes of Kanye, Flatbush Zombies, and JID.

The first two singles that I’ve heard from the upcoming album are this latest called “Loading” which feels more chilled out and I guess you would called “traditional” James Blake, and another single released at the beginning of the summer called “Big Hammer” that incorporates something more vibey and almost reggae-like. “Big Hammer” was accompanied by a totally bonkers video of a group of criminals using their car to break in to various storefronts around town.

With this new album, some might say that Blake returns to his roots. The 11-track electronic record doesn’t feature any guest appearances and it uses his signature R&B vocals overlaying deep bass and ambient electronic. I think it’s an album that longtime fans of Blake will be keen to get involved with.

Look out for the upcoming album, Playing Robots into Heaven, set to release on September 8th on Polydor records.

James Blake – Loading

James Blake – Big Hammer