James Bay is an English singer-songwriter and guitarist. In 2014, he released his single "Hold Back the River", which has been certified platinum, before releasing his debut studio album Chaos and the Calm (2015). The album went to number one in the UK and number 15 in the US. In February 2015, Bay received the Brit Awards "Critics' Choice" award. At the 2016 Brit Awards he received the award for Best British Male Solo Artist. Bay also received three nominations at the 2016 Grammy Awards, for Best New Artist, Best Rock Album, and Best Rock Song.
Yet, rather than sticking to a successful formula, his new single, which premiered on Radio 1 in early February, is a revelation. Called Wild Love, it's a surprisingly sensuous pop song, all warped synths and sinewy guitar lines.
"I wanna give you wild love," he sings in the chorus, "the kind that never slows down."
And that's just the beginning. Bay's second album is filled with little experiments and musical flourishes, from the Strokes-inspired thrash of Pink Lemonade to the juddering electro-gospel of In My Head.
"I've discovered that world of analogue synths and programmed drums," he says, "and I've had the most fun smashing them up against these organic instrumental approaches that have always been very me - electric guitars, acoustic guitars, acoustic drum kits.
"Crushing them together, smooshing them up, making a sound out of that - and something unique has been born."