James Blake‘s new song “If the Car Beside You Moves Ahead” is the British singer’s first new original track in two years.
Returning to the avant-garde, electronic spirit of his earlier work, Blake’s inimitable voice acts as the song’s main instrument as his vocals are chopped, distorted and manipulated as he’s backed only by distant synths and a metronome.
“If the car beside you moves ahead / As much as it feels as though you’re dead / You’re not going backwards,” Blake sings on the chorus.
Blake also dropped the single’s music video, which slowly turns a night drive into a 2001: A Space Odyssey-like visual journey as the song progresses.
After a year of relative inactivity output-wise, Blake appears to be revving up for a busy 2018: On Christmas eve, Blake unveiled the studio version of his Don McLean cover “Vincent,” a song Blake had routinely performed in concert. Earlier this month, Blake appeared on the all-star Black Panther track “King’s Dead” alongside Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar and Future.
“If the Car Beside You Moves Ahead” appears destined for the follow-up to 2016’s The Colour in Anything. During Blake’s 2017 concerts, the singer debuted a handful of new tracks with titles like “Lul Bye,” “I Can’t Believe the Way We Flow” and “Loath to Roam.”
In February, Blake will serve as Lamar’s opening act when the rapper tours Europe. The singer will return stateside in June for a set at New York’s Governors Ball.