James Blake is currently on his tour supporting the 2019 album Assume Form and while most fans were there to catch the tunes from Blake’s own work, he offered a simply perfect cover of Joy Division’s darkened album track ‘Atmosphere’.
Blake is no stranger to a cover though. He’s found himself on the right end of some impressive songs, including tracks from Joni Mitchell, Bill Withers, Frank Ocean, Feist and even Beyonce. But this one felt a little different.
Not only is the subject matter of the song, and the importance of the band a figure in this cover, which gave us chills, but it’s the delivery of such a song. Honest, vulnerable but in many ways comfortable.
Blake has been a long time advocate for mental health and recently spoke out about pressure and strain touring life can have on a person’s mental health.
“There are a lot of musicians just starting out now who might not be aware of the pitfalls of touring, and the pitfalls of a musician’s life. Mental health on the road is something which has generally been left until this generation to really deal with”, he explained.
“I think we’ve seen the effects of the artist’s life laid out for us in previous generations, and I think we’re just starting to go, ‘Maybe I shouldn’t use these methods to cope with it, maybe I should talk to somebody.’”