Sam Smith will look back on their musical legacy as the soulful expression of heartache and free expression in the service of love and those who dare to be loved. But it seems 2020 is the year they put that narrative on hold to explore a new voice with their latest album Love Goes, which drops today.
“I’m not getting any younger, so I said ‘I’m going to do this now. I’m going to attack this pop thing now,’” the singer told RADIO.COM’s Julia about their latest work during our RADIO.COM LIVE Check In. “I want to get it out of my system, and I hope when you look back on my career you just see loads of different genres.”
It’s been three years since Sam released a feature album. Love Goes was originally slated for June, but the coronavirus delayed final production. The extra time allowed Sam a creative buffer to fully explore some of the new concepts for this project. “It felt nice to have fun with music and not take it too seriously all the time. It was a nice relief, but also a very intense album to make, but I’m done with pop now. I’m good,” they told us with certainty.
“It’s been fun and I’m excited to start writing some soul tunes again.”
Love songs are nothing new for the “Stay With Me” singer. But after a split with 13 Reasons Why actor Brandon Flynn in 2018, Sam began to take stock in their emotional well being. Smith calls Love Goes his first true heartbreak album. “I probably didn’t write for the first month. I had to get my head together,” he admits.
“But the writing I was doing, it wasn’t necessarily about that. It was just getting in the studio, and that became this fun room where I could go and not think about stuff.” The music flowed through and provided a creative outlet for the pain. “Over time, I wanted to talk about things more and get everything off my chest,” Smith admitted with contemplation.
“I see my music as a diary. A vocal diary or my life.”
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One single that encapsulates Smith’s rhythmic emotional freefall is “Diamonds.” The music video depicts Sam dancing alone inside a dark home, illuminated only by shards of weak sunlight. It was a predestined cathartic moment for the singer. “It was always going to be like that. I always saw it like that,” he told Julia. “For me, was like this exorcism when you’re getting rid of the bad juju.”
Sam is already looking ahead to the next album. Another rhythm, another emotion, but a divergent vibe from the heartache of 2020. “For this next album, I really want to focus on taking a lot of time with it, because I haven’t done that before and I think the production will really benefit from that.”
Love Goes captures a moment in Sam’s life where creativity meets peace of mind. They say it’s a liberating feeling.
“I’m in a wonderful place musically where I’m starting to care less about what people think… I’m just trying to enjoy the process.”