James Bay Releases ‘Pink Lemonade’

James Bay got a haircut. He’s also finally given us some more intel about his latest album, and a shiny new single to go with it. ‘Pink Lemonade’, the second single off Electric Light (out in May), is quite a step away from the indie folk/rock most people associate with the English singer. It’s a guitar filled take on surf-rock that could easily be mistaken for a song by The Vaccines.

‘Pink Lemonade’ is anything but sweet. It’s full of strong guitar hooks and drums that just won’t quit. Gone is the crooner that told us to ‘Let It Go’; an Alex Turner-type heartbreaker has taken his place. Lyrics like “Let me wake up heavy head/Lying in my bed with you naked” are a world away from the soft lyricism of his debut album. This James Bay isn’t here to mince words – he’s cutting straight to the point. Bay himself has said that his upcoming album is about challenging himself: “Because I did well with the first album, I want to do even better with this new one. If I’m not setting the bar higher for myself, then why bother, frankly?”

And that’s the real question – does it all work? Somehow it does. It’s not super original, but it’s damn catchy. It doesn’t sound anything like the singer-songwriter who tiptoed onto the scene in 2015; if you wanted the old folksier James Bay, you’ll be sorely disappointed. If not, there’s a strong chance you might enjoy this.