I Need a Forest Fire

Album: The Colour In Anything (2016)

Songfacts®:

  • James Blake sings here of a struggling relationship. It needs to burn out like a forest fire, so that there can be a phoenix-like renewal.
  • The song features Bon Iver's Justin Vernon, who is an old friend of Blake's. They previously collaborated on "Fall Creek Boys Choir," a track from Blake's 2011 Enough Thunder EP. The South London singer told BBC Radio 1's Annie Mac of their collaboration: "I mean, [it was] an honor. He just sings gold and it comes out quickly and effortlessly and that's the kind of person he is."
  • James Blake spoke to Pitchfork about working with the Bon Iver musician: "I explored sitting at the piano and singing a lot more. I would talk with Justin Vernon, who is a great producer—a lot of people may not know that about him. He's a good person to talk to. Much like Rick [Rubin], actually. Justin is an incredibly warm man. We've become really good friends.

    When I first met him, it felt like we had been separated somewhere down the line and were meeting each other again. It was a very strange feeling. In the studio, he would say things like, 'Oh man, I love the chords in that track,' and that gave me so much confidence. Singing standing up at a mic with someone else recording was new, too; there never was any time to set up properly before."
  • Justin Vernon tweeted about working with Blake and the origins of the song. "So proud of my brother James Blake dropping the bigness tonight," he tweeted. "Also, so proud of our song ForestFire came from wonderful accidents and good friendship."

    He continued: "James, or Jim as I call him when I'm upset with him is such a powerful musician. To be like Aaron Neville , AND aphex? Also, nothngelse [sic]".

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