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James Bay returns with yearning single ‘Give Me the Reason’ – listen

The singer-songwriter will release his third full-length this year

By Joe Goggins

James Bay press shot, 2022
Bay road-tested fresh material in intimate venues back in January. (Photo: Press)

James Bay has returned, with the lead single from his forthcoming third album – you can hear it below.

The singer-songwriter is expected to release the follow-up to 2018’s ‘Electric Light’ this year, and fans can now get a sense of what to expect, with ‘Give Me the Reason’ streaming on all major platforms. The track sees the guitar-slinging troubadour return to familiar territory; what begins as a ballad quickly evolves into an arena-worthy soarer.

“It’s been a long and winding adventure making all this new music, but every moment was worth it,” said Bay on Twitter, as he linked to the new track. “I love this song, hope you all love it too.” Bay had previously teased the track on Valentine’s Day (February 14), and said of the song last month: “It’s a song about seeing that the sun’s going down on a relationship, but believing that it doesn’t have to be the end. It’s about believing that there’s still a chance you can make it work.”

No release date for Bay’s third album has yet been set, and there is no word as to whether any of his collaborative work with The Killers frontman Brandon Flowers will make the cut; the pair went into the studio together in 2020.

“The insight I got from working with him was incredible and to be in his presence watching him work and write music the way he does is something I’ll never forget,” Bay told NME. “He is a consummate pro and deserves the legendary status he already has.”

What we do know is that Bay will tour the UK in 2022; he plays a clutch of British dates in late April and early May before heading to the United States. He’s already aired a slew of new cuts this past winter on an intimate tour of the UK in support of Independent Venue Week. You can see his full forthcoming itinerary below.

James Bay, April 2022:

29 – Oxford, O2 Academy Oxford

May 2022:

1 – Coventry, Empire

3 – Brighton, Chalk

4 – London, O2 Kentish Town Forum

5 – Norwich, UEA LCR

7 – Leicester, O2 Academy Leicester

8 – Hull, Asylum

9 – Middlesbrough, Empire

11 – Glasgow, Old Fruitmarket

12 – Aberdeen, Beach Ballroom

13 – Sheffield, Leadmill