“Us” by James Bay


James Bay is a up and coming singer from the United Kingdom. Arriving on the scene in 2013 with the release of his EP, The Dark of the Morning, the English crooner has seen a fair amount of success in the early stage of his career. He released his single "Hold Back the River", which has been certified platinum, and he released his debut studio album, Chaos and the Calm, in 2015. That album reached number one on the UK and number 15 on the US charts. Bay followed that up by receiving three nominations at the 2016 Grammy Awards, for Best New Artist, Best Rock Album, and Best Rock Song. His latest single is off his album, Electric Light, and is titled “Us”. The track was released in April 2018, along with a music video that has already accumulated over 15 million views.


Us still 1 

A brooding crooner is the best kind of crooner.


The song is about the relationship between two people, and how the singer needs the other person to show him how to cope with the difficulties of life. Through all the turmoil and troubles, the singer still believes in “us”. This message can be extended to people in general, as we often forget that sometimes we just need a little friendship and kindness from each other to help someone to get through the day. Bay’s vocals are the highlight here, as their tender and light but immensely powerful at the same time. The dynamic shift between the verse’s tender crooning to the power in the chorus adds a lot to the range of emotion in this song. The heavy drums and clapping also help add weight to the song.


 Us still 2

James Bay wears black high top chucks in this music video.


The music video features Bay sitting in a few different locations while he croons the song, most notably in what looks like an empty community center. Bay has this sort of James Dean/Rebel without a cause look going on with his white tee shirt, blue jeans, black chucks, and gelled hair. The rest of the music video is filled with people who start off looking very forlorn and lost. Eventually though, they find comfort and companionship in their fellow humans, laughing hugging, and smiling by the end of the video. These scenes hammer home the song’s theme that you need someone by your side to get through this thing called life. This point is brought together at the end of the video, when the camera backs away from the crowd of people and passes by crossed out words like “You”, “Me”, and “Them”, leaving only the word “Us” intact. These images cap off a heartwarming video that fits with both the song’s tone and message.


Us still 3

Another shot of James Bay in his chucks.


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