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Monday, July 5, 2021 11:00am ET by  
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James Bay’s Upcoming Album Improved By Pandemic

James Bay’s upcoming album has a completely new tracklisting because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The “Hold Back The River” hitmaker has revealed his third studio LP is now a very different record to the one that he originally planned to bring out last year because he’s swapped in several different songs after deciding the ones he had intended to release were not up to scratch.

The English singer-songwriter and guitarist - who started making his album in February 2020 in Nashville - spent the majority of his coronavirus quarantine writing new material, and he’s delighted that he had that time to keep working on his next record and improving it.

Bay, 30, said: “As the world opens I’ve got music. I’ve got so much music ready, well, some of it is not quite ready yet. This album is not a completely different 12 songs but there has been an update. I am grateful for the time.”

He said that it’s not uncommon for him to dislike songs that he actually does release because as an artist he’s always striving for perfection.

Discussing his approach to his song selection, Bay added: “Really, you have to put them out and hope people love them before you decide you don’t love them anymore.”

The music star can’t wait to finally release his album and then head out on tour again but he is realistic about when that might happen, and accepts any large concerts are unlikely to take place in 2021.

Speaking on the ‘Do You Know How Many Bands There Are?’ podcast, the rocker - who is playing some intimate solo shows throughout July - said: “I’ve got a couple of solo shows announced and hopefully as I get into announcing more music I can announce more touring. I realistically expect most of that touring to be in 2022. I’m just looking at the landscape of things and I think it will be more like then.”

In 2014, Bay released his single “Hold Back the River,” which was certified platinum, before releasing his debut studio album Chaos and the Calm in 2015. The album went to No. 1 in the U.K. and No. 15 in the U.S. In February 2015, Bay received the Brit Awards “Critics’ Choice” award. 

At the 2016 Brit Awards he received the award for Best British Male Solo Artist. Bay also received three nominations at the 2016 Grammy Awards, for Best New Artist, Best Rock Album, and Best Rock Song. In May 2018, he released his second studio album, Electric Light (see below).

Listen/stream James Bay.

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