Early James is excited about everything that is happening right now, even if so much of it may read to the contrary. He is releasing a new album that has hints of the harsh reality of life of an emerging musician — Singing For My Supper — has a new single to support it, “Blue Pill Blues”, that is about depression, and is set to go back out on the road for an aggressively compact timeline with a lot of shows.
It is what he has always wanted and the folk-Americana singer is ready for the world to hear his sound, and his message.
“”Blue Pill Blues” got written because I stopped taking these blue antidepressants cold turkey and it wasn’t a good time,” he told American Songwriter. “I guess I want people to know that depression isn’t fun, and that medication doesn’t always work.”
The cathartic nature of the track is better understood in the video where the viewer can see the pain in the singing.
“Blue Pill Blues” is a stellar first track and one that showcases the unique — and quick — transitions that James’ vocals can make. He deftly switches from a melodic whisper to a gravely, if not guttural, growl to drive home his all-too-relatable lyrics.
James told American Songwriter that his career ambitions are pretty modest at this point. He wants to be able to have music as a full time job, but aside some money from that to invest in gear and grow into a producer that can collaborate with other artists, musicians and songwriters.
It sounds a lot like following in the footsteps of the man who signed him and helped produce this record, Dan Auerbach.
Singing for My Supper marks the thirteenth release on Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound label. Previously Auerbach has released records by Yola, Marcus King, Kendell Marvel, Leo Bud Welch, Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, Shannon & The Clams, Shannon Shaw, Sonny Smith, Dee White, and Link Wray.
He was extremely complimentary of his newest addition.
“Some people are good singers, and some people are better than good singers; they just have this great form of expression. Every line has to mean something to him, personally. It’s not good enough to just write a good song, it needs to have a deeper meaning,” Auerbach said of James. “He’s unlike any person I’ve ever worked with. He’s not writing a song to be universal; he’s writing a song for him.”
Blue Pill Blues can be heard below. Singing for My Supper, Out viaEasy Eye Sound Records and Nonesuch Records on March 13th.
James’ tour dates start on Jan. 31, 2020 and take him literally cross country, between California and New York.
Early James Tour Dates
January 31 /// Fonda Theatre /// Los Angeles, CA*
February 6 /// The Analog /// Nashville, TN
February 13 /// Georgia Theatre /// Athens, GA&
February 15 /// The Social /// Orlando, FL&
February 26 /// The Heights Theater /// Houston, TX+
February 27 /// Scoot Inn /// Austin, TX+
February 29 /// Granada Theater /// Dallas, TX+
March 2 /// Knuckleheads Saloon /// Kansas City, MO+
March 4 /// Bluebird Theater /// Denver, CO+
March 6 /// The Commonwealth Room /// Salt Lake City, UT+
March 7 /// The Olympic Venue /// Boise, ID+
March 9 /// Imperial Vancouver /// Vancouver CAN+
March 10 /// Neptune Theatre /// Seattle, WA+
March 11 /// Revolution Hall /// Portland, OR+
March 13 /// The Filmore /// San Francisco, CA+
March 14 /// Pappy & Harriet’s /// Pioneertown, CA+
April 2 /// Varsity Theater /// Minneapolis, MN+
April 3 /// Majestic Theater /// Madison, WI+
April 8 /// Variety Playhouse /// Atlanta, GA+
April 10 /// Haw River Ballroom /// Saxapahaw, NC+
April 14 /// The Opera House /// Toronto, CAN+
April 15/// Union Transfer /// Philadelphia, PA+
April 16 /// Paradise Rock Club /// Boston, MA+
April 17 /// Webster Hall /// New York, NY+
*The Marcus King Band
+ The Lone Bellow
& Shovels and Rope