Son Of James Double Your Pleasure With I Need You & Have You Been in Love

The Vancouver rockers give you two new videos for the price of one.

Son Of James look at love from both sides now with their twin singles I Need You and Have You Been in Love — showcasing today on Tinnitist.

A powerful, emotion-packed ballad, I Need You reflects the isolation and loneliness of the pandemic’s early days, when Son Of James singer-songwriter Shon Wong was feeling uncertain about the future. “Everyone is keeping their distance; we’re at the peak of COVID; nobody is taking any chances,” the Vancouver artist recalls. “In that stage, I asked myself ‘Shon, why are you alone?’ and at that moment I started to think about past girlfriends and past romances and why it didn’t work. This song is basically me owning up to it and taking responsibility for what could’ve been some great relationships.”

Wong and Son Of James explore a more hopeful side of love and relationships with Have You Ever Been in Love? Chatting with friends about relationships that were casualties of the pandemic prompted the question, giving Wong some introspective food for thought. “I had to really think about that, and the answer was ‘No,’ ” Wong recalls. “I’m imagining being in a 10-year relationship and being asked that question, and how awful it would be if the answer was still ‘No.’ ”

But ultimately, the song is as much about the prospect of love as its absence. “To remind everyone what love sounds like, Have You Been in Love was written with a carefree approach that electrically soars past any boundaries,” explains Wong. It’s a reminder that keeping six feet apart isn’t forever. Don’t be afraid to love.”

On Have You Been in Love, Wong shares lead vocals with Jackie Nguyen, voicing the lyrics he had been hearing in his head. Her input helped convince his bandmates that he was onto something. “To them, I was bringing a demo held together with scotch tape. But once we got Jackie to sing the chorus, people started to see what I was cooking up. Then once we got the pianist, cellist, and synth strings to help disguise the tempo changes, the scotch tape started to turn to glue, and the song started taking shape.”

Much like the two sides of love the songs reflect, the videos for each have their own distinct moods and directions. An empty warehouse is the setting for I Need You, conveying a lonely, rundown feeling. “It was perfect!” says Wong. “I thought it would be cool to have different musicians at the top of the stairs while I was singing at the bottom. In editing, we could flicker between different musicians while I sang. To do this, I had to shoot myself performing with each musician individually, so we had consistency.”

The video for Have You Been in Love is revved up in more ways than one. Wong and his team wanted to echo the song’s classic rock vibe. “I dusted off my Top Gun jacket, jumped into my red 1985 Honda Prelude, and cruised the streets of Vancouver,” says Wong. “We also incorporated a retro sound wave graphic for the female vocals. The video is intimate, raw, retro, sexy, and fast. All the ingredients of a classic rock love song!”

Son Of James, self-described as a “Vancouver Chinatown rock band that blends the soulful sounds of rock and funk with the mystical sounds of Chinese instrumentation”, are proving to be both a cultural and musical force in the Lower Mainland and beyond with their brand of “Chynatruckerfunk”. Their music has taken Son Of James to stages in San Francisco, Nashville, Memphis and Europe. Alongside Wong, Son Of James features Nguyen on vocals, Michelle Kwan on cello and guzheng (Chinese harp), Jonathan Reichart on lead guitar, Adam Richards on guitar, bass, and vocals, Alan Ruiz on bass, Reuben Avery on piano, Jason Overy on drums and Eric Tsang on sax.

Watch I Need You and Have You Been in Love above, sample more sounds from Son Of James below, and keep up with them at their website, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.