Grammy winner James Blake announces new album and tour

James Blake has announced his new album 'Playing Robots Into Heaven' and shared the single 'Big Hammer'.



James Blake begins new 'creative chapter' with new album
James Blake begins new 'creative chapter' with new album

James Blake has announced his sixth studio album, 'Playing Robots Into Heaven'.

The Grammy-winning star has shared the lead single, 'Big Hammer', from the upcoming follow-up to 2021's 'Friends That Break Your Heart'.

He tapped Oscar Hudson for the music promo to accompany the track, who is known for his work with Radiohead.

The full album is due for release on September 8.

James is also embarking on a tour with dates in the UK, Europe and North America.

The run kicks off at Fabrique in Milan on September 18, and includes a stop in James' home city of London at Alexandra Palace on September 28, before wrapping up in Los Angeles on October 19.

Fans who pre-order the album from by 6pm on Monday July 3 will get access to exclusive ticket pre-sale for James' Alexandra Palace show on July 4 ahead of general sale on July 7.

Meanwhile, James previously opened up about the period in his career when his mental health spiralled from trying to maintain a "cool" stage persona.

The 'Retrograde' singer suffered from social anxiety in the past and wasn't "great to talk to at the time" and put pressure on himself to be the "coolest version" of himself "possible".

Speaking to Zane Lowe on Apple Music in 2021, in observance of World Mental Health Day, James shared: "And so, the chasm between the person that you're presenting as your personality to the public, and the person you really are when the mic is off, and you go home, and you've got to deal with your own problems, becomes grander and grander.

"And it's just like for me, the thing was, the difference between my musical, cool, doing loads of collabs, and producing blah, blah, blah, and doing dub, electronic music, and good reviews, and all that stuff, and me just spiralling ... and actually not being that great to talk to at the time, and not really having anything to say, and just having loads of social anxiety, but then going on stage and just being the coolest version of myself possible.

"And you're rewarded financially for that in a lot of cases. I think it's Pavlovian. It's like the more you get the treat, the more you return to that behaviour. I think the answer for me, was to decide that I was okay with not getting the treat, and that I would decide to stop pretending that I was like, whatever part of me it was that was saying, okay, I need to appear this way to be as perfect as the kids at school thought I wasn't, or I'm going to be cooler than... Whatever."

The 34-year-old songwriter - who is in a relationship with actress Jameela Jamil - went through a period of doing "the worst things" for his mental health, such as drinking too much alcohol, overeating, and not exercising.