Electropop singer-songwriter James Hersey today shares the first full length album of his career, Fiction, out now via Glassnote Records.
The album is an exploration of the stages of love. Hersey explains, "Fiction is about taking a step beyond realism to see the inner workings of a mind in love. The album opens at the height of infatuation and optimism with 'Closer (feat. Chromeo)' and takes the listener through stages of doubt, confusion, conflict, and hope, to find empowered clarity on the other side."
Hersey is known for the rich melodies he pairs with ear candy production and while that signature can be found throughout the album, the songs are accented by a laissez-faire undertone, which in total invites listeners to enjoy a bit of levity.
With a cavalcade of blockbuster viral cuts behind him, whether the tender "Miss You" (which boasts a whopping 118 million Spotify streams to date ) or the malleable "Coming Over" (a rework of which resulted in a Billboard No. 1 and Gold in the US), Hersey set out for a musical reinvention and exploration by grappling with an overarching question: "What is my voice and what do I represent?"
The answer Hersey found was a creative penchant that harkens back to the artist's early roots and one that marks the exciting next phase of what's become an eclectic creative trajectory. "I grew up playing in punk bands, writing acoustic love songs, and hanging out with turntablists and rappers." he explains. "This latest chapter carries the DNA of my youth. I took the lessons of life as an artist - a decade of life on the road - and presented them to the soul of the kid inside me who has nothing but a dream to live for."
Prior to the release, Hersey shared three singles. Most recently, "Souvenir" brings to life a romantic escape fantasy that we all wish could get us away from the surreality of our time. The first single "Forget," an almost teenage-esque love-song dressed up in modern production, precluded the infectious "Closer feat. Chromeo," an upbeat summer tune featuring Grammy-nominated Canadian funk-legends Chromeo.
Produced in equal parts before and after the pandemic lockdowns, Fiction buoyantly grapples with themes of romance, nostalgia, empathy, and, as Hersey succinctly puts it, "unconditional everything. Above all we need to learn to accept and appreciate ourselves and the choices we've made, and this album is a reflection of that."
James' songs have amassed half a billion streams worldwide, led by his self-penned hit single "Miss You" at over 140M, certified Gold in Italy and Canada. Hersey's 2014 rooftop video of his song "Coming Over" was the launch point of his international career, from which dance heavyweights filous, Kygo and Dillion Francis reworked worldwide smash-hits.
2017's Pages EP rapidly made him an online sensation, gaining early support from the likes of Radio 1's Annie Mac, Apple Music's Zane Lowe, as well as Mistajam, Adele Roberts, Cel Spellman, and Maz Tappuni (Communion). In 2019, his exceptional eight-track mini-album Innerverse accrued over 30M streams.
Along the way, Hersey has received accolades from tastemaker publications including The Telegraph, Wonderland, The Line Of Best Fit, CLASH, DIY, Idolator, EARMILK, Red Bull, and tmrw Mag.