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James Blake’s ‘Overgrown’ Gets a Major Shout Out From Elton John

James Blake, the UK singer-songwriter won a strong endorsement from Elton John. Blake is pictured here playing at the 2013 Coachella Music Festival.  (Photo by Karl Walter/Getty Images)

James Blake, the UK singer-songwriter won a strong endorsement from Elton John. Blake is pictured here playing at the 2013 Coachella Music Festival. (Photo by Karl Walter/Getty Images)

When Elton John played last December at Madison Square Garden in New York City, he mentioned in between songs that his favorite album of the year was James Blake’s Overgrown.James Blake's 'Overgrown' Gets a Major Shout Out From Elton John  1

Now released in the United States, the UK singer/songwriter’s second album, now via Republic Records, is a sumptuous sampling of his moody, atmospheric compositions.

Blake, 25, is attracting a sizable following in the States. He most recently appeared here in New York City as part of the Governor’s Ball music festival on Randall Island’s and wowed the crowd.

His debut, self-titled LP (James BlakeJames Blake's 'Overgrown' Gets a Major Shout Out From Elton John  2) was released in February, 2011 and was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize that year.

Overgrown won the award last year, and Blake was also nominated for the Best New Artist Grammy at the 56th Grammy Awards.

His work is like a sonic painting …. much like the somber, tentative photos that adorn the album, and his voice is matched perfectly to the EDM rhythms.

Side note: Elton knows his music. He’s been a fierce and furious record collector for years. From the time he brought his first record, he’s had an encyclopaedic knowledge of music. When he gets a new record, he buys one each for all his residences around the world. Now, that’s a collector!

I liken much of his work to UK singer/songwriter Brian Eno, who first gained prominence in Roxy Music. He went onto work with David Bowie, as well as releasing several brilliant solo albums.

Eno, in fact, pops up as co-composer on the track “Digital Lion.”

We also loved “Our Love Comes Back,” “Voyeur” and the title track. The album’s big hit, “Retrograde” was used in the initial trailers for HBO’s “The Leftovers.”

Blake is from the Bon Iver music school for sure. Sophisticated, polished and atmospheric… we loved it.

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