Retrograde

Album: Overgrown (2013)

Songfacts®:

  • This is the first single by English singer-songwriter and producer James Blake, from his sophomore album, Overgrown. The track premiered via Zane Lowe's BBC Radio 1 Show on February 7, 2013.
  • The song was inspired by Blake's relationship with Theresa Wayman, the guitarist and singer of Los Angeles-based band Warpaint. He told Pigeons and Planes: "When I write, 'We are alone now,' it's about exactly that, so for that reason people are relating to it. Maybe they have somebody or they want to be talked to like that. It's funny when you write a love song; you suddenly realize why 99% of songs are love songs, because the reaction is so uniquely forceful."
  • The eerie music video was directed by Denmark's Martin De Thurah who has previously worked with David Byrne and St. Vincent.
  • According to NME, Blake wrote the song in anger at 7am after a bad telephone call. The track finds him addressing his lover (presumably Thersea Wayman) as they continue their conversation.
  • This won Best Contemporary Song at the 2014 Ivor Novello Awards.

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