James Bay's forthcoming album is ''much more personal and vulnerable''.

The 'Let It Go' hitmaker has revealed his third studio effort is inspired by the ''journey'' he and his longtime girlfriend, Lucy Smith - who has been in a relationship with since he was 17 - have been on and the intense experience of being catapulted into the limelight.

Whilst it deals with his vulnerabilities, James has described the collection as the ''most positive thing'' he's ever written.

He explained: ''I'm typically a very private person and this next record is much more personal and vulnerable. My long-term girlfriend and I were just kids when we met; we knew each other before any of this happened to our lives. The album is a bit of a tribute to our journey.''

The 29-year-old singer/songwriter teased that the record continues to push ''boundaries'', whilst he described his last release, 2019's EP 'Oh My Messy Mind', as like ''therapy'', as he was going through a difficult time in his life when he penned the four-track mini album.

He told NME.com: ''A lot of my drive is rooted in pushing boundaries. I think I did that sonically on the second album because it was so different from my debut. I didn't think as much about the sonics on the EP: I just tried to strip the songs right back to do something different again. That project was therapy for me. We all go through down moments and I went through one around that time. I needed to work some of that out and express it creatively, so that's what that EP was all about.''

James launches the follow-up to 2018's 'Electric Light' with lead single, 'Chew On My Heart', today (09.07.20), and admitted that whilst he finds it challenging opening up about his vulnerabilities, he wanted to ''shout'' about and celebrate his long-term relationship.

Asked if it's harder to put his deepest thoughts and fears out into the world as a famous musician, he added: ''Yes, I think it's much harder. The vulnerability has arrived more as time has gone on.

''In the past, I'd write songs that were somehow kind of rooted in a kind of communal kind of sadness or reality, in a kind of relatable heartbreak. When I started writing this album, I went back to my usual well of sadness and heartbreaks ... it wasn't that it was dry or that it was an empty well or anything - I just couldn't get inspired there this time.

''I discovered that what I wanted to say was more of a celebration of a long journey I've been on - and that I'm still on - with somebody and that's something I want to sort of shout about in these next group of songs.''