Sam Smith Is Convincingly Lonely, But Needs to Loosen Up


British soul singer Sam Smith is most famous in the U.S. for collaborating on the massive club hit “Latch” with electronic duo Disclosure, but with the release of his album In the Lonely Hour, Smith will soon be recognized for a very different style of music outside his home country.

The 22-year-old Smith’s soul-influenced pop music has gained him comparisons to Adele, another British singer with a similar vintage pop style and killer pipes. Her massive popularity has certainly paved the way to making popular audiences more receptive to a singer like Smith, who is winning over U.S. audiences in the non-EDM realm with his first single from In the Lonely Hour, “Stay With Me,” a song Smith told NPR’s Melissa Block is about the loneliness experienced after a one-night stand.

“‘Stay With Me’ is my own personal anthem to the walk of shame. … That feeling after a one-night stand of not wanting the person to leave. Even if you don’t love them and you don’t even like them, it’s about having that body there next to you,” Smith said on All Things Considered. The song is currently sitting at No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is poised to climb higher with the album’s release. He’s gained attention from a well-received performance on Saturday Night Live and impressed crowds at last weekend’s Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival during both his own performance and when he joined Disclosure to play “Latch.”

As is apparent in the title, much of Lonely Hour is about being lonely. On All Things Considered, Smith discussed the heartbreak and feelings of unrequited love that he experienced in the past year that went into the songs he wrote for the record. “I’ve never been in a relationship before ever in my life. I wanted to make a statement that I do know what love is,” Smith told NPR.