James Arthur is exploring a bit of country with his latest single, “Homecoming” – a song he released as a Christmas present for fans since they’ve been asking for it ever since they heard a snippet.
The song sees Arthur sing about the beautiful details unique to his hometown that keep him tied to the place. “Redcar Lane was the backdrop of my early days / Two dog of cider, Borough Park / Took me a while to find my place in Rye Hills School,” he sings in the first verse, going on to describe the lovely things about his hometown, like the way “they back the underdogs” and inquire about his life and travels.
He also learned a few lessons growing up there – “Growin’ up ’round here, I learned no one will pity me / And I’m so thankful for that” – and after many years “chasin’ the gold,” he finally wants to go home.
The accompanying music video sees him at stadiums, in a car and basically just reliving and remembering the best parts of his hometown.
Speaking of the track, he said, “It’s truly unbelievable. I don’t think that I can put it into words. As someone who came to the Riverside as a young lad with a season ticket and walked through the turnstiles, it’s just crazy to think that people are going to be walking through the turnstiles to watch me perform. It’s very much like the end of a movie, a full circle moment. It has been bit of a pipe dream of mine to play The Riverside; I’m really honoured.”
Prior to the release of the song, he heavily teased it through his social media channels. The single, which he co-wrote with Jamie Graham and Steve Solomon, will be featured on his upcoming album, Bitter Sweet Love. The album has already given birth to singles such as “A Year Ago” and “Blindside.”
“We weren’t planning on releasing this one just yet, but ever since you heard a bit of it when I announced the Riverside show you’ve been asking for it… So here’s “Homecoming” as an early Christmas present, from me to you,” he shared with fans on X.
He will be going on a promotional tour for the album in 2024, with UK dates already announced. As a way to promote the album, Arthur created a video series where he shares fun facts about the making of the album, as well as the meanings behind the songs. For example, did you know that the demo vocals for “Just Us” ended up being the one they used on the final version?
With the songs on Bitter Sweet Love, Arthur means to connect more with fans through his personal storytelling.