James Blake added Nirvana to his quarantine cover roster with a rendition of “Come As You Are,” performed on a benefit livestream this past Sunday. The cover, requested by a fan, got the full James Blake treatment, which is pretty simple: a piano setup and a lovely crooning voice.
Blake has done quite a few covers over livestream during the COVID-19 pandemic, including Radiohead’s “No Surprises,” Billie Eilish’s “When the Party’s Over,” Frank Ocean’s “Godspeed,” Ray Charles’ “Georgia on My Mind,” Roberta Flack’s “The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face,” Joy Division’s “Atmosphere,” Stevie Wonder’s “Never Dreamed You’d Leave in Summer,” Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You” and, yes, even Aqua’s “Barbie Girl.” The most recent livestream was in support of the Loveland Foundation, a nonprofit committed to providing leadership opportunities for black women and girls.
Along with the covers, Blake has performed some new original material as well, and released a studio single for the love song “You’re Too Precious.”
“After a certain amount of time, somebody becomes too precious to lose, and now you want to protect them in any way you can,” Blake said of the track. “I wrote this song at 5 a.m. and it brought me a lot of peace. Thought it might be a nice accompaniment to a lockdown dinner.”