For You and I expresses happiness, anxiety, joy, sensuality, and fear through a vivid sound palette and an experimental sense of rhythm. It's partly an exploration of the complexities of being in a queer relationship in London, and the ups and downs that come with that. “I’m in love and wanted to share that in some way. I wanted to make songs that reflect layers of my relationship." The other half of the album is about her: "I wanted it to be about only me," James says.
Of her process, James says she aimed to make something that wasn’t overthought. As a result, the album is rhythmically free-flowing and sprawling, with melodies that evolve into rippling keys. It's said to feel like a live jam session with a jazz mentality, contrasting the delicate and abrasive. It features vocals from James' frequent collaborator and London rapper Le3 BLACK, as well as UK singer Theo and James' girlfriend.
The artwork, which features a photo of James holding a photo of her estate from 10 years ago, is a tribute to her upbringing. “I started making music in those flats, news of my Dad and Uncle passing away happened in that flat, I came out to my mum crying in that flat. Most of my life has been there and in so many years time this area will no longer exist.”
James was enticed into the world of music through her mother, who would go from playing the steel pans to blaring out music from Metallica to Calypso. Having grown up in Enfield, London, she credits the multiculturalism in the city for broadening her mind and ears, and the results of this exposure can be heard across the album.
For You And I lands on September 20, with "Sick 9" streaming below, and pre-order here.
01. Glitch Bitch
02. London Ting - Dark As Fuck feat. Le3 Black
03. So Scared
04. Hand Drops
05. Sensual ft. Theo
06. For You And I
07. My Future feat. Le3 Black
08. Scraping My Feet
09. Sick 9
10. Vowel Consonant
11. Words Ears Mouth