The team behind the annual BBC's Sound of... poll certainly have a knack for picking a winner. Fiddy, Keane and Adele have all stood the test of time, and despite the wilting of 2005 victors The Bravery and the sixth place given to a certain Miss GaGa in 2009, it'd be a brave man who would doubt their crystal ball. So, wedged between the hypetastic Jessie J and The Vaccines on this year's list was James Blake. His first single proper was Feist cover 'Limit To Your Love', and that track showcased both his '10sy dubby production and a contrasting singer-songwritery voice. On this follow-up, Blake takes it all one step further.
Named after a movie sound effect, 'The Wilhelm Scream' is apparently a reworking of James's dad Jamie Litherland's twangy number 'Where To Turn'. Here though, Blake takes the sort of carefree liberties with the source material that Jamie xx did with Gil Scott Heron on last month's fantastic We're New Here LP. As Blake's voice veers between an almost robotic coldness and grasping attempts at connection, the stripped-out backing plays around with space as much as it does notes. They key stuff happens from about two minutes in, as layers build in crashing waves of ambient terror until you find your teeth grinding and eyes welling up... before it all drops out again.
> Click here to watch the video for 'The Wilhelm Scream'