CRUSH :: James Bay, Hold Back The River

Where do I begin on why I love this track so much?

The construction of the song is just beautiful, opening with a simple guitar picked motif, crescendoing into the uplifting choruses and then stripping right back down to the first glorious middle 8 ‘Lonely water’ section, where again Bay’s voice is exposed alongside minimal musical accompaniment. What is so powerful in this song is the use of swells of instrument parts, specifically the higher harmonies that pack such a choral punch.

Alongside the structuring of the song, Bay’s lyrics masterfully create an atmospheric, rousing, and spiritual tune. I wont begin to profess to knowing what the words are actually saying but in my own head it brings to mind almost biblical connotations. Of some higher power or emotion. Which i think really brings depth to the romance and power to this simply beautiful tune.


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