Electronic hero James Blake has delivered a stunning cover of Bill Withers’ classic track ‘Hope She’ll Be Happier’ for Spotify Singles. Released today on September 22, the cover was also paired with a live studio take of Blake’s recent single and collaboration with Finneas, ‘Say What You Will’.
Both tracks were recorded in Los Angeles, California, where Blake lives with his partner, TV-presenter turned actress, Jameela Jamil. Fans of Blake have been left more than satisfied with the release of ‘Hope She’ll Be Happier’, as he has performed it live multiple times over the years. Finally, this studio recording will sate their thirst. Interestingly, normally when delivering a live rendition of the Withers track Blake pairs it with his original track ‘Radio Silence’, which also samples a Withers song.
‘Hope She’ll Be Happier’ originally appeared as part of Withers’ iconic debut album Just As I Am, back in May 1971. The album also features the classic singles ‘Grandma’s Hands’ and ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’, both of which are considered to be two of Withers’ most essential and signature songs.
Sadly, Withers passed away in March 2020, aged 81. Memorably, days after his passing, Blake, who clearly owes a lot to Withers, performed ‘Hope She’ll Be Happier’ during an Instagram Live performance. In what came as little surprise, he described it as “one of (his) favourite Bill Withers songs”.
This dual release comes as part of a busy time for Blake. Currently, he is getting ready to release his long-awaited fourth studio album, Friends That Break Your Heart. Originally, it was set for release on September 10 but was pushed back to October 8. Of course, it features ‘Say What You Will’, alongside the singles ‘Life is Not the Same’ and ‘Famous Last Words’. Blake and his band are due to tour the album in 2022.
Listen to James Blake’s cover of ‘Hope She’ll Be Happier’ below.