Indie-pop singer-songwriter August James has released the perfect collection of songs to round out your summer playlist. With the fitting title Warm Air, James’s debut six track EP exudes the bright freeing feeling teen summer romance movie. Four out of the six had previously been released as singles, giving fans a taste of what was to come from the EP as a whole. “I hope that this becomes the soundtrack to some of your magical warm air nights,” said James via his Instagram.
The EP begins with “Escapades,” which feels like reminiscing while you’re still in the moment. He mentions small details around him such as the moonlight, his dripping towel and more. The calm beginning with just James’s vocals and a light bass rhythm in the background makes me think of Harry Styles’ first solo album. A synth beat is added as the song builds more before a brief pause followed by the song bursts with a brighter energy like the start of a new day as he says “We’ve never been so young and we won’t be for another day.”
An overall message of love is apparent in each song, going hand-in-hand with the carefree feeling of summer. These two ideas come together in “Security Deposit,” the other track that had not yet been released. Typically people are careful with places and things to avoid causing damage and, in turn, get their security deposit back. However, James is more interested in doing what feels right to him “like a kid who can’t understand how bad he wants it.” He uses the security deposit of their summer house as a metaphor for accepting there’s no going back with the summer relationship/fling that he’s pursuing.
Next in line to continue the idea of love is “Fever.” It starts with single chime notes being played as James [need something here about what he says but can’t pick out any specific lyric to explain that beginning bit]. James’s vocals and the chimes are combined with a strong drum beat as the chorus comes in. In this chorus, James is explaining to someone that they are made for each other, saying ‘You are that thing and I am this thing that goes with it!’
You are a folktale, I’m a believer“Fever” by August James
You are a pipedream, I am a dreamer
You are a phone call, I’m a receiver
You are a sickness
And I’ve got a fever
One of my favorite tracks from the EP is “Illicit,” which was the last single that James released before this album. Like the other tracks on Warm Air, “Illicit” starts very soft with just James vocals and a single instrument, in this case an acoustic guitar. There is also the added detail of rain faintly in the background, which makes the song feel like it’s a more intimate moment between just James and who he’s singing to. Through his lyrics on this track, James compares love to drugs and the high euphoric feeling that both produce. While this comparison has been made countless time, James adds on the idea of feeling the need to hide their drugs and in turn their relationship from people because it is ‘illicit’ as he says “I promise you they won’t find out.
With Cupid in the title, it’s a safe assumption that “Take It Up With Cupid” continues the message of love stories that are present throughout the EP. There isn’t an obvious metaphor with this track, compared to “Fever” and “Illicit,” but James’s point is still clear as he says, “And baby you said I was stupid, to have your heart and never use it. Well you can take it up with Cupid, but I’m all yours, for now.” The detail of adding for now in that lyric plays into the concept of the summer romance that is seen throughout the EP with the idea that they know it will come to an end.
Warm Air comes to a close with my other favorite track from this EP, “Miss Your Flight.” Keeping with the different versions of love, James ends his EP with the idea of ‘I love you, please don’t go’ as he asks them to miss their flight. It feels like this would have been the slow dark sad song for the album but he keeps it bright and full of energy, which I associate with the fact that he still loves them he just wishes they could’ve stayed closer.
August James is a singer, songwriter and producer making his mark on the indie-pop scene with his coming-of-age lyricism. He combines that with synth-fueled sadness, smooth vocals, and intuitive melodies to create his own signature sound. With his new EP, Warm Air, and over 17,000 monthly Spotify listeners, James is sure that this is his year. He likes to think of himself as someone who allows his “contemplative and adventurous spirit guide his creativity and ambitions as each song seeks to make you dance and cry all at once,” which is definitely conveyed in this new release. To keep up with August James’s future releases and shows, follow him on Instagram and TikTok.
Photo Credit: Sophie Weil (Instagram)