James Bay in early stages of new album that 'showcases his guitar playing'

James Bay wants to add more guitars to his next record credit:Bang Showbiz
James Bay wants to add more guitars to his next record credit:Bang Showbiz

James Bay is in the early stages of his next album and is planning to showcase more of his "guitar playing".

The 'Hold Back The River' hitmaker is going back to his roots for his follow-up to 2022's 'Leap' after enjoying a more raw approach to playing his acoustic guitar as he did on open-mic nights when he was starting out.

He explained: “With all my heroes, a lot of my favourite work of theirs was recorded in the first or second take. It had that sort of carefree [nature], ‘Let’s just do it. Emote and move on to the next thing.’ I’m trying to do that at the moment."

He continued in an interview with Guitar.com: “[Recording an album] piece by piece by piece? I’ve done that a lot. I totally respect it, it really worked for me in the past. But lately, I’ve been standing in front of a microphone with my acoustic guitar, like I used to do on an open-mic night. I’m just singing the song in. No click. Nothing. Just a performance. And it’s fun! It’s sort of freeing to not have to sort of stress over all the minute details.”

The 32-year-old singer-songwriter insisted the lyrics and the song itself are still important to him, but he really wants to hone in on his guitar skills.

He added: “I do see myself moving towards showcasing more guitar playing in my songs. So maybe [fans’ perceptions] will change as time goes by … but it depends on what the songs dictate.

“The songs are still the most important thing to me, what the melody is doing, what the lyrics are saying, the performance and the delivery of the song. But I will always stand up on stage with a guitar in my hand, so I think, in the studio, I’m gonna give myself a little bit more to do with the guitar.”