Last week James came out with a new album– their first since 2001. It’s called Hey Ma, and you can buy it or, while waiting for the cheaper U.S. release, stream bits of each song here. Be sure to check out the song Whiteboy, which is a mix of every British act I can think of, or maybe just the bands they thoughtfully listed on their MySpace (as opposed to oh so many bands on MySpace who use that answer in which to jack around).

The Modern Music offers you the title track mp3 for download.

It’s well established that James’ music sort of has to grow on you. But the new disc has a fuller, yet cleaner sound than the previous albums. They built their own studio, and their mastery over the recording quality really shows. Plus, there is judicious but joyful use of horns, which are sort of a nice foil to Tim Booth’s voice.

For a blast from the past, watch these YouTubes of their most famous song Laid, of Sit Down, and of Getting Away With It. Actually, to avoid the cringe-making fashion, just push play and then interweb elsewhere.

And if you’re across the pond (they’re of course not touring the U.S.), check here for tour dates and some info on getting a code with which to buy tickets early.

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