Best known for his chart-topping, arena-filling, multi-Platinum success with The Vamps, James McVey now takes a very different approach as he launches his solo project. His first single, ‘Dancing On The Head Of A Needle’, finds him stepping confidently into introspective folk-pop territory, which was inspired by his love of artists such as Damien Rice. The project took shape as he was recovering from vocal surgery early this year, which is reflected within the vulnerability of his lyrics and the hushed style of his delivery. Listen HERE. Watch the Garden Sessions video below.

In ‘Dancing On The Head Of A Needle’, a soft acoustic guitar melody accompanies James as he sings with the utmost tenderness about a storm he needs to overcome: “Could have been the laughter of the party / Could have been a lighthouse for my friends / Could have been forgiveness to your demons / Oh I could have been all of these things, but in the end…” With the song’s gradual build, James manages to reflect his own realisation about the way time can slip through our fingers. It’s a reminder to savour every precious moment, before it’s too late. It’s a song of such personal significance that it’s unsurprising that it was solely written and produced by James himself.

James says, “Around the time that I wrote this song, people who were really close to me were going through things of their own, and because I was so far down this dark road after losing my voice, I was unable to acknowledge that I needed to be there for them. It’s a bit like my apology to the people I let down, but also to myself, for not being able to see the warning signs. I was deteriorating into a place that was almost too far down to reach.”

James McVey had achieved so much with The Vamps, but being diagnosed with a polyp on his vocal chords could have been the end. Surgery followed by six months of resting his voice was the fix, but it came at a cost to his mental health with issues of substance abuse also coming to the fore. He started writing the most personal, intimate songs that he had ever crafted – real, emotionally charged stories in which every line matters.

More of those songs will emerge when James releases his debut solo EP later this year. Throughout the process of writing and recording the collection, James was determined to learn more about himself and the people around him – to learn how to be a better husband, friend, artist. It has also been a learning curve of accepting life’s inevitable ups and downs, and realising that anything worthwhile takes time. So expect to hear much more of James’s solo work soon – but The Vamps are in a good place too, as many will have witnessed throughout last year’s arena tour and at their recent sold-out Royal Albert Hall show.

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