While Wonder Woman was busy showing off her comedic side on this past week’s SNL, Sam Smith came through to perform two singles from his long-awaited new album The Thrill of It All. As usual, the Brit singer crooned his way through heartbreaking ballads in a way that only Adele can match, in a perfectly somber performance fit for re-watching while rain bounces off your windows and you spoon a pint of ice cream.
He performed “Too Good at Goodbye” and “Pray,” the newest single that he already revealed is about his time spent in Iraq. “I spent five days in Mosul and came back embarrassed that I had known so little about the world and other people’s lives,” Smith said to Billboard. “I went back to that great Nina Simone quote, that it is important to speak about the times you live in. I hadn’t done that; I’d just written a bunch of songs about love. So I wanted to write about how I’m now starting to open my eyes, at 25, to what is going on in the rest of the world, and that it’s not always pretty.”
It’s been a few years since we’ve heard Sam Smith croon to us about love and now we know why—the soulful singer nearly quit music altogether. In a revealing new interview with Attitude Magazine, the singer told Sir Elton John that while making his new, still-untitled album, he considered leaving everything behind after a particularly painful breakup.
“I got dumped, which wasn’t very nice. Writing music about that kind of thing is normally like therapy for me, but when I got dumped this time ’round I just couldn’t write for about two months… My team had to force me to get into the studio, because I almost felt as if I didn’t want to do it anymore,” he said. “So, there were moments on there where it got a bit intense and I started to lose myself.” After pulling himself together, he began to record again and recently released “Too Good at Goodbyes,” his first single since the James Bond track “Writing’s On the Wall” from 2015’s Spectre.
While details from the album weren’t revealed, elsewhere in the interview Smith talked about the infamous speech he gave after winning an Oscar for the Bond song. You know, that one where he falsely claimed to be the “first openly gay Oscar winner,” which led to intense blacklash. The statement was made after misinterpreting the words of Sir Ian McKellen in an interview he’d read. “It made me really sad for a few weeks afterwards, I was really upset. But my intentions were good. I met Ian afterwards and we had a laugh about it. I’m at peace with it now,” he explained to Elton John.
To read the full interview, buy or download Attitude and, in the meantime, listen to his heartbreaking new track.
Smith’s last album, In The Lonely Hour, which was also his debut record, won four Grammys, including Record and Song of the Year for “Stay With Me.” He also won a (slightly controversial) Oscar for penning the James Bond Spectre theme song.
Sam Smith in the music video for “Omen”, courtesy Island Records
Palm fronds and glitter accentuate the laid back vibe of this new music video.
Hitting a slump at your desk this Monday? Take a few minutes to chill out with Disclosure’s music video for their new single “Omen,” a Sam Smith collaboration from their upcoming album Caracal that we are absolutely living for. Super chill with gorgeous visuals and a beat that makes you want to dance at your desk.
The Ryan Hope-directed clip (part two in a four part dystopian saga) has us feeling a mix of 54 and Blade Runner, set in Indochine. The second collaboration between electro-duo Disclosure and Sam Smith, following 2012’s sleeper hit “Latch” that propelled both artists to fame, it’s sure to have similar success. We’ve been searching for the Song of the Summer, and while this is coming a little late, we may have finally found it.
“It was really exciting,” Disclosure’s Howard Lawrence said in a statement. “We had three whole days to hang out with Sam and write, which are two of my favorite things to do.”
Watch the music video for “Omen” below, and be on the look out when Caracal drops in late September.