Beautiful Beaches

Album: All the Colours of You (2021)
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Songfacts®:

  • For several years, James frontman Tim Booth and his family kept emergency bags packed by the door of his family's home in the wilderness of Topanga Canyon near Los Angeles in case of sudden evacuation. One night, Booth had a dream where he imagined earthquakes and fires breaking loose in California. The morning after the dream, a wildfire blazed through the state, which persuaded Booth and his family to leave their home and move to Costa Rica. This song captures the Booth family's escape from wildfire country.
  • Booth told The Sun "Beautiful Beaches" is James's "leaving America" song. "The first eight years, we only had one fire scare and then it's got worse each year," he said. "We've been evacuated a few times. And such beautiful beaches. I met this man who lost his house in the Malibu fires. And he was driving through a fire tornado storm to the beaches, thinking that was the safe place to get to."
  • James recorded the song for their All the Colours of You album, which was recorded remotely during lockdown with Booth's former Topanga neighbor and producer Jacknife Lee working remotely on the record from his own home.

    Booth sealed the collaboration when, driving home from a meeting, two women scared of a rattlesnake in the road, flagged him down. "I said 'hop in' and I turn the car around and drive them back up the hill. And it's Jacknife's wife and daughter," he recalled to The Independent.

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