Music

James Bay’s Ultimate Playlist

It's very much a golden age of singer-songwriters at the moment, as the likes of Hozier, George Ezra and the rest dominate the upper reaches of the singles and album charts.

And next on the list will surely be the 24-year-old Hitchin-born James Bay. He's already won a Brit Award as the Critics' Choice for 2015 and supported the aforementioned Hozier; he now releases his debut record Chaos and The Calm on March 23, an album that already boasts a mega-hit in the form of the epic Hold Back The River.

We thought it was high time to catch up with James to find out the songs that mean the most to him, in order to compile his Ultimate Playlist. Read on to discover his choices, and the reasons behind them, from a Motown legend all the way through to some dubious 70s disco.

Listen to the whole playlist on Spotify

FAVOURITE SAD SONG

"Burn - Ray Lamontagne. From the words, to the melody, to the sparse production, this song creates such a heart broken atmosphere."

FAVOURITE MOVIE SOUNDTRACK

"Guardians Of The Galaxy. The movie was fun, but it didn't blow me away. It was the soulful, fuzzy and funky 70s soundtrack that really did it for me. Loved every second of that."

FAVOURITE SONG FROM YOUR CHILDHOOD

"Born In The USA - Springsteen. I still remember the hairs standing up on my arms and the goosebumps I got the first time I heard this song, I was about four years old. What a moment that intro is."

FAVOURITE SONG THAT NO ONE ELSE HAS HEARD OF

"Georgia by Emily King or If I'm Unworthy by Blake Mills. These are two absolute gems that no one else really seems to know about. I can't work out why, they're amazing."

FAVOURITE CLUB ANTHEM

"Lady (Hear Me Tonight) by Modjo. This takes me back to driving around in the car with my Dad at the weekend when I was a kid. I think it came out around 1999/2000. I'm not big into club music, but this is an undeniably brilliant tune."

FAVOURITE WEDDING SONG

"Signed Sealed Delivered, Stevie Wonder. I've played in a few wedding bands in my time, and whether it's live or the DJ pulls it out, this is always a floor filler."

FAVOURITE NOVELTY SONG

"D.I.S.C.O. by Ottawan. Just because."

FAVOURITE CURRENT SONG

"FourFiveSeconds - Rihanna, Kanye, Macca. I've always admired Rihanna's arena filling pop anthems, but I think her performance on this track is even more significant for her because it shows that she really has a great, raw, raspy, soulful voice, too."

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FAVOURITE LYRIC FROM A SONG

"'I could drink a case of you and I'd still be on my feet' - Joni Mitchell, A Case Of You. This kind of thing is very hard to explain because it's just about feeling. I just think this is a perfectly simple and beautiful declaration of love."

FAVOURITE SONG FROM YOUR OWN MUSIC

"There's no one favourite. I love them all the same! How can you ask that question!? These songs are the closest things I have to children. I'll never love one more than the others."

We'll pick our favourite then: as previously featured on our Song Of The Day feature The ShortListen, we'll go with the huge hit Hold Back The River