James, the Britpop alt-rockers of ’90s cult fame, are setting 40 years of classics to a new tune.
Recorded with Orca 22, a 22-piece orchestra, and backed by a gospel choir, the upcoming double album will feature new versions of James’ greatest hits, fan favorites, and deep cuts from across their four decade-long career.
“There are a number of great bands who have been around for 40,” said frontman Tim Booth in a statement. “But to get here and to be having the best time of our lives. To be part of a supportive loving family that still has something to say and new ways to say it. To be turned on by every gig and song. To fall in love over and over again, Groundhog Day, with our bandmates and audience. Damn. That’s time well spent.”
The orchestra, Orca 22, and choir will accompany the band on tour to give the audience an unmatched experience, brought seamlessly from album to stage. “The orchestra and gospel singers expand our palette, heighten the tenderness, heighten the celebration and, despite their numbers, somehow leave us feeling more naked and raw,” Booth explained of both the album and the tour.
“Has it really been 40 years?” exclaimed band member Jim Glennie. “In some ways, it feels like yesterday and in others, many lifetimes. A family of brothers and sisters, willing to support each other musically and emotionally. Uniquely challenging, always pushing ourselves into the new and taking risks collectively and individually, looking for transcendence.”
In celebration of the milestone, the band will also embark on a 40th anniversary tour in 2023, hitting major cities in their native Britain.
The orchestral album is set for release on May 19, 2023. Until then, revisit the James classic, “Laid,” below.
Courtesy Missing Piece Group