Blake has been covering the song live since 2014
James Blake has taken on a song by the late Bill Withers, ‘Hope She’ll Be Happier’, as part of Spotify’s ongoing solo series.
- READ MORE: Bill Withers, 1938 – 2020: The reluctant star whose songs were deemed his genius
The cover, released today (September 22), was paired with an in-studio live version of Blake’s recent single “Say What You Will”. Both tracks were recorded in Los Angeles, where Blake lives with his partner Jameela Jamil.
Blake has performed ‘Hope She’ll Be Happier’ live at concerts several times over the years, often combining it with his song ‘Radio Silence’ – which is based on samples from the Withers song himself.
Listen to the cover below:
‘Hope She’ll Be Happier’ originally appeared on ‘Just as I Am’, Withers’ debut album, in May of 1971. Which is considered one of Withers’ signature songs.
Withers passed away in March 2020 at the age of 81. A few days after his passing, Blake performed ‘Hope She’ll Be Happier’ during an Instagram Live performance, describing it as “one of these”. [his] Favorite Bill Withers Songs.”
Blake is currently preparing for the release of his fourth studio album, Friends That Break Your Heart. Originally scheduled for release on 10 September, it was later extended to 8 October. This includes the aforementioned ‘Say What You Will’ as well as ‘Life Is Not the Same’ and ‘Famous Last Words’. Blake and his band will tour the album in 2022.