Sam Smith was by some measures the biggest breakthrough musician of last year, but on his latest song, he’s more depressing than ever. Smith returns to his familiar subject matter of fleeting love on “Drowning Shadows,” a previously unreleased song which will appear on a deluxe edition of his blockbuster album “In The Lonely Hour” that comes out Friday.
“Brace yourself, this really is going to be really depressing. So sorry if anyone’s in a happy disposition,” Smith joked as he debut the song Monday on Apple’s Beats One radio. Described by Smith as “the most depressing song I Have ever composed,” the 23-year old English crooner demo the ability of his soaring, soulful voice on “Drowning Shadows” as he narrates his conflicts. Smith sings: “I don’t understand how I Have reached this area / So far from heaven, so far from grace.
“Go home to nothing or stay out more? Give in to someone or lock down my door? Or drown all my shadows, drown them like before?” He sings to strings and piano.
Smith clarified to radio listeners the tune was in fact composed prior to “In The Lonely Hour” but was left off the record because “something didn’t work” in the production. The vocalist, who re-recorded the song, said that “Drowning Shadows” was about his former life as he returned home each evening in London from the studio in a taxi.
He’d face a daily crossroads as he determined whether to hit the gay bars or go home alone. “I was in such a lonely, miserable place after I was recording this album,” said Smith, who had been a bartender until a couple of years back. “I used to venture out by myself and drink and try and find love. Or I would just go home and chill,” he said.
Smith won three of the four most prestigious awards at the most recent Grammys and has gone on to pack stadiums. More recently Smith, who successfully underwent surgery for vocal cord issues, composed the theme song for the latest James Bond film.