James Mathé started out as keyboard player in the band Boedekka and was signed to Boy George’s record label Things To Come. Whilst touring Spain he discovered Sufjan Stevens’ Seven Swans, taught himself to fingerpick on the guitar and began an acoustic solo project called Barbarossa. The first EP Sea Like Blood was immediately picked up by Fence records and Barbarossa quickly became a regular face on the nu-folk circuit. The full-length album Chemical Campfires was released by Fence to critical acclaim.
Music from both Barbarossa's EP and debut album has been used on two hugely successful series - Channel 4’s Sugar Rush and the US series How I met your Mother.
The artist's new solo project is now under his own name James Mathé. He has supported Anna Calvi, Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit. He was also main support on Junip’s recent UK tour and is due to support Johnny Flynn on his US tour this summer. James also plays keys and sings harmonies with Johnny.
In his new project he uses vintage casio keyboards, an omnichord, 808 drum machine, and layered electric guitar as a backdrop for his heartfelt soulful vocal melodies. He released The Bedrume Cassettes EP at the end of 2010 exclusively into the Rough Trade East store and on their website, which had a great response from blogs including 'Song of the day’ from The Line of Best Fit.
A full length album is on the way.