I stumbled across the voice of James Beau Barclay a few weeks ago, and I’ve been coming back to his songwriting over and over again since. Hailing from Bristol, but now studying at Goldsmiths and living in South East London, Barclay has been playing his guitar seriously since he was 14 years old, and now can be found gigging in and around New Cross and collaborating with other passionate musicians.
For me it was James’ mix of British acoustic soul and James Blake influenced electronic flourishes that made me take note of his talent; particularly ‘Light That She Saw’. The track was released a few months ago on LA’s Modern Filth. It is a mournful sounding song that breaks your heart with a haunting guitar solo and echoing vocal harmonies.
James loose, sweet, vocal delivery has just enough of a crack to it to give it a bit of edge. The beat and slight roughness on ‘Loving You Always’ give it a soulful appeal that would have been lost if the recording was too polished.
James’ collaboration with Olmos, one of those aforementioned passionate musicians, is another highlight. Light, summery and perfectly pitched, ‘I’ll Be There’ is a gorgeous track. Great news then that the pair plan to collaborate further. Look out for James’ debut EP to be released in the not too distant future.