James Arthur’s “A Year Ago” is a heart-tugging guitar-driven track about craving someone you’ve lost. He uses his impressive range in the lower register to good effect in the song, as he sings about missing someone he used to have a year ago.
“I miss you / Your name’s still on my coffee cup,” Arthur sings in the first verse, going on to list the things he misses about his ex, like “the way you chose the films we watched,” and “singing by the kitchen sink / I miss you / Not knowing I was listening.”
The chorus sees him wishing that things could be the way it was a year ago when they were happy together. “I wish it was a year ago / Now I’m driving past your house, I know / The lights are on, you’re not alone,” he sings of what it’s like to love someone who has moved on.
“A Year Ago,” which Arthur revealed he wrote a year ago, will appear on his upcoming fifth studio album.
“It’s a guitar song that began on piano, Steve playing a few chords, me scatting the line ‘I miss you’ over and over until the song presented itself,” James says of the song’s creation. “It captures that feeling when you break up with someone and are riddled with regret and pain and fear. What If I never find someone as good as that again? Will I always be alone?”
Arthur penned the emotionally-heavy track with Jamie Graham, who is someone he’s known from his childhood days. “We’ve been friends since we were kids and having him along gets that young version of me back,” Arthur says of the recent collab. “It’s weird but I become the kid who went with his feelings and trusted his gut.”
The accompanying music video shows Arthur remembering the good times he had with her and hurting over them. Directed by Tim Mattia, Arthur also sees the ex trailing behind him or just being around him when he’s shopping, at the gas station, or doing any random things as a way to show the hurt he feels over losing her.
Arthur heavily advertised the coming single on his social media channels, by sharing snippets of the song, behind-the-scenes of the music video, and playing the song on a piano. As the song’s release date neared, he tweeted, “One more week to go! Words can’t explain how excited I am for this single, I wrote it over a year ago 👀 and finally it’s going to be all yours…”