• Tom H

Russell James | History Of Crime (new single)


During the pandemic, autistic indie-folk singer-songwriter Russell James started writing new music to follow the release of his impressive 2019 album, Pay Attention. In contrast to his previous efforts, Russell adopted an approach of relying upon simpler, more organic arrangements to frame and present his new songs. "Less layers, more meaning," Russell has said. He recorded the bulk of his work in his home during quarantine, connecting with other Albuquerque musicians via technology to complete the parts he couldn't do on his own. The result of this creative, collaborative process is Feel Your Pain, Russell's forthcoming fourth full-length album. New single "History Of Crime" provides listeners with a first look and listen to music from the album.

From a lyrical perspective, the subject matter of "History Of Crime" is earnest and introspective, as Russell explores the pain of past relationships and the emotional struggles associated with moving on, while staying true to himself and standing firm to preserving his own well-being and mental health ("I won't sit where I don't belong.") Russell comments, "... relationships are hard, and sometimes the ones closest to us are the hardest, for some of us, anyway. I wish it wasn't that way, but it is."


Musically, "History Of Crime" is bright, melodic and uplifting, with an upbeat tempo, and open, airy chords, all graced with Russell's warm, emotive and heartfelt vocals. "I love the guitar on this song. I don't even know what you call the types of chords I use here, I'm no genius on guitar, I taught myself," Russell comments. "It features Matthew Tobias on drums, Justin McLauchlin on bass, and Alex McMahon (The Handsome Family) on pedal steel and spaciness. Bill Palmer out of Santa Fe/Terlingua helped me glue this together and put his magic touch on everything."


Next up for Russell will be a second single release ("The Morning Singer") on November 5, followed by the official release of Feel Your Pain on December 3. In the meantime, we leave you with the official lyric video to "History Of Crime."

For more information about Russell James, visit his official website, follow on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube) and find his music on Bandcamp, SoundCloud, Spotify and Apple Music.

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