James Blake has one of the best songs of the year on his hands with “Retrograde,” but after hearing the studio version, it’s hard to imagine the song coming together live. With the vocal loop and blend of sparse, swelling electronics dancing slowly with organic elements, performing it live isn’t your typical sit-down-at-a-piano-and-play type of song. It’s not your hit-some-buttons-and-twist-some-knobs type of song, either.
So, how does it work? Well, in a word: beautifully, and watching Blake perform this live makes it even more easy to appreciate the British artist’s talent. Watch above as he performs the song at Apogee’s Berkeley Street Studio in Santa Monica for a small audience.