Photos: Samantha Tenbroek Mellina / Courtesy of artist

Shayfer James Recalls a Love Lost on “New York Doesn’t Remind Me” (premiere)

Shayfer James follows up his acclaimed LP, Hope and a Hand Grenade, with the release of an emotionally captivating ballad, "New York Doesn't Remind Me".

With the release of Hope and a Hand Grenade earlier this year, Shayfer James proved himself to be a songwriting tour de force. Between understated ballads, gothic-influenced rock, and a blues strut, the multi-sided singer-songwriter has begun turning heads en masse in recent months, donating song revenue to the York Street Project, ACLU, and the Yellowhammer Fund along the way.

Following up his full-length release with a new single, James invites listeners in through another window to his heart with “New York Doesn’t Remind Me”. The tender ballad gradually unfurls into an emotionally captivating tale of a love come and gone. With distant, yearning instrumentation coming in layers as James delivers a poignant vocal performance, the song recalls a poetic pining redolent of Various Positions-era songwriting.

On “New York Doesn’t Remind Me”, James tells PopMatters, “The places I describe in the song are all actual spots where my own love affair blossomed and declined in New York City, making this song deeply personal to me.”

The song is due for release on 12 July. Shayfer James will celebrate with a release show on 26 July at Rockwood Music Hall in New York City (21+, $10, more info).