James Bay - Let It Go EP
Record Label: Republic Records
Release Date: June 3, 2014
These days its getting pretty hard to predict what will and will not chart on Billboard. More than a fair share of talented musicians are often left ignored, undervalued and under-appreciated. On his latest EP however, British singer-songwriter James Bay is hoping to change that script. Currently on tour with Irish breakout star Hozier, this EP is the follow up to last year's The Dark of the Morning EP, which received raves from critics but failed to make a sizable dent here in the States. This EP though will probably change that.
Let it Go opens with the title track, a rising current of despondency, heartache and powerhouse vocals. Arguably one of the year’s most heart-rendering songs, “Let it Go” is also the clearest example of who exactly Bay is, that is, supple instrumentation, gauzy textures and that ageless croon. Suffice it to say, if you don’t dig the title track, then Let it Go is probably not the EP for you. Bay pushes forward on “If You Ever Want To Be in Love,” a piano-driven jaunt with a gospel-infused chorus, steady guitars and a hip-shaking sentiment that gives the disc some much needed pep.
He returns to balladry on the open-hearted “Heavy Handed,” a leave-it-all-on-the-table effort that deftly balances tender vocals with heart-on-sleeve lyricism. Sonically the song lands itself somewhere between its two predecessors but lingers long after the final seconds. Bay slows things down on the winsome, acoustic yarn “Hear Your Heart,” a power-packed cut that drips with gospel flourishes and a sound that is truly wise beyond its years.
Let it Go closes with “Running,” a defiant and deeply magnetic tour-de-force that brims with optimism, passion and sincerity. Easily the most stirring and emotive track of the five, “Running” is veritable proof that he has a giant future ahead of him.
In less than 20 minutes, Bay makes one of the strongest statements of the year and defiantly re-announces his presence an artist worth remembering in the months and years to come. With two sensational EPs in his discography, Bay is already charting a career that is certain to leave many breathless. Just a few listens to Let it Go prove exactly that.