“McVey balances big choruses and pop hooks with modest, organic production…  the songs have a genuine presence and warm atmosphere.” – The Line of Best Fit

“Emotional, raw, and personal — a compelling offering of acoustic pop that sets McVey apart from the crowd.” – Wonderland

Just two weeks after releasing his debut solo EP ‘Manabi’James McVey today shares the brand new single ‘Strangers’. It sees the singer-songwriter and Vamps man team up with another rising solo artist in the shape of Lilla Vargen. Listen HERE.

‘Strangers’ is a song that captures the aftermath of a break-up, acutely expressing the emotions that come when a love which had changed everything reaches the end of the line. That subject matter really lends itself to a duet and James and Lilla’svocals very naturally intertwine, each of their voices full of yearning, regret and sorrow for what has been lost. The production is beautifully pure, with mournful cello, plaintive acoustic guitars and piano with back-to-basics drumming.

James says, “‘Strangers’ is a melancholic ballad pertaining to a winter break-up. I wanted to keep the production raw and vulnerable, to symbolise the pain in the lyrics. I wrote and produced in my impromptu home studio with Kellimarie Willis and Alex Stacey, ‘Strangers’ goes back to the core of what songwriting is for me: real instruments and tangible lyrics. I’m so happy that Lilla loved the song and wanted to put it out with me, her voice really complements the record and takes it to a new level.”

Still a member of the chart-topping, arena-filling VampsJames McVey showed a different side to his artistry with the release of ‘Manabi’. Written as he recovered from career-saving throat surgery, its carefully articulated songs spoke of heartfelt but universal truth – from mental health issues to the highs and lows of love – within songs which touched upon influential songwriters such as Damien Rice, Glen Hansard and Dermot Kennedy.

James celebrated the EP’s release by playing his debut solo headline show – and surely his most intimate gig in years – at London’s sold-out Hoxton Hall. He united an audience both in rapturous silence and rousing singalongs in a night that will live long in the memory of everyone present. Proceeds from the show were donated to the mental health charity ‘Mind’.

Recent weeks have seen James share the story behind the EP with interviews which included the BBC. Expect more new music to follow from James early next year.

Follow James McVey:
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Follow Lilla Vargen:
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