James have announced the release of a four-track 10" EP entitled Better Than That on May 18th to coincide with the tour of the same name of seven small UK venues. The EP comes ahead of the release of their 15th studio album later in the year.
Exclusively aired on Steve Lamacq's 6 Music show this afternoon, the lead track lays out the challenge "You can do better than that,” he sings. “Hit me again and show me where I’m cracked" The production has a very modern sheen to it, as these are the first products revealed from their sessions with Wolf Alice and Alt J producer Charlie Andrew. Better Than That includes Tim's trademark falsetto in the verses with a soaring chorus complete with uplifting backing vocals in the tradition of many of their best-loved tracks.
The full unedited version of the track is now available to purchase on iTunes.
This song has found youAsleep at the wheel of your carYou’re boring bored unengaged
Life comes to rattle your cage"
From todays first offering on our EP.
— Tim Booth (@RealTimBooth) April 3, 2018
The other three songs also come from the album sessions. The second track Busted was previewed at a couple of their festival shows last year, whilst Hank takes on a very political stance on events in America where Tim Booth has lived for over a decade declaring "“White fascists in the White House, more beetroot in your Russian stew” and “NRA high fives Orlando, Sandy Hook and Columbine”
The final track is the melancholy ‘Broken By The Hurt’, which Saul describes as “unsettling and a bit disturbing. It could easily have been a sweet ballad in different hands. Instead it’s dark, but it still has those pop elements and a guitar line influenced by ‘Wish’-era The Cure.”
Better Than That and Hank are taken from the as-yet-untitled album that is scheduled to be released in July, according to Tim on Twitter.
The Better Than That tour takes in the following venues : Llandudno Venue Cymru (May 16), Warrington Parr Hall (17), Blackburn King George's Hall (19), Halifax Victoria Theatre (20), Middlesbrough Town Hall (22), Oban Corran Halls (23) and Scunthorpe Baths Hall (25).
They then play festival shows at Common People Southampton (May 26), Common People Oxford (27), Lisbon Rock In Rio (June 29), Latitude Festival (July 13), Bilbao BBK (14), Kendal Calling (27), Linlithgow Party At The Palace (August 11), Scarborough Open Air Theatre (18) and Drumlanrig Electric Fields (30).
James' official website can be found here. They are on Facebook and Twitter. Some of the band - Tim, Andy and Dave - are also on Twitter.
We also run the One Of The Three James archive, the most detailed resource for information about the band, and the site also has a Facebook and Twitter page.
Follow Even The Stars on Twitter at @eventhestarsuk and like our Facebook page for all the latest updates