This summer has been one of highs and lows – mostly highs, if you’ve been looking at the forecast. While the heat and the humidity (and the political climate and rising costs of…everything) have people sweating, James Hersey has a way to help cool things down a bit. The indie pop singer has delivered “Can’t Say No,” a sunny rock-infused jam that sees him inject some energy into your soul right before the Dog Days of Summer start barking.
“I wrote this song the day a friend called me at 6 am crying on her way to work,” James said of the new track. “She’d finally reached a fork in the road – it was either her mental health or the relationship that would survive, not both.” James captures that struggle of being caught up in that unhealthy situation in the song’s chorus: ” You only let me down / Leave me low / Begging on the ground / As I watch you go / Break my bod / Heart and soul / Always coming back around / And I can’t say no.”
The song is the fifth single from his upcoming album, Let It Shine (out Sept. 15). He previously released “Cut Me Out,” “Right Where I Am,” “Fake Love,” and ‘Ghost Me,” all good additions to your streaming circulation, whatever mood this weather has got you in.
To help celebrate this new release, James has put together an EXCLUSIVE summer playlist for HollywoodLife. It’s the great soundtrack while you go ahead and pre-save Let It Shine.
Nieve Ella, “His Sofa”
“The mix of her nonchalant vocal with the heaviness of the band was instantly infectious to me. Saved on first listen.”
The 1975, “Oh Caroline”
“This band just doesn’t cease to deliver realness straight to my heart. I could’ve chosen probably five songs from this album, and that’s rare these days.”
Arlo Parks, “Devotion”
“It was the video that hooked me on this one, and when the band hits it’s exactly what I need this summer.”
White Reaper, “Pages”
“This sent me straight back to my favorite Elvis Costello demo for My Aim Is True – Miracle Man! Love the heaviness of the band too, perfect chaos.”
Veronica Mars, “Blondshell”
“No easier way to get my attention than palm-muted guitars and a beautiful voice. Some of the melodies sound like Beach Bunny to me, I wonder if they know each other.”
Twenty-One Pilots, “Shy Away”
“The kings of Alt Rock, I’d love to work with these guys someday. I like the Phoenix-vibe of this track, takes me back to the early hype-machine days.”
“Again, female-fronted rock band, I guess it’s just my vibe right now. The contrast of sweet vocals and heavy band are addicting.”
Beach Bunny, “Fire Escape”
“Heavy guitars, weird lyrics, and a heartbreaking guitar riff, this is an instant throwback to my 2000s.”
“Went to see them live on a recommendation, and it was the hardest future grunge pop I’ve seen in a while. This record is great,I especially love the vocal melody and that tremolo-stutter he sings throughout the song.”