Sampha gets a little autobiographical with his new single for his first major album release.
Singing about the how and why he has come to embrace music so much, Sampha frames is connection to his art through family and comforting sights that he viewed from the piano bench in his childhood home. To play up that particular part of the story he’s telling, the entire track’s only instrumentation is a solitary acoustic piano played by the singer himself. The lyrics are sweet but well constructed and almost completely clear of cliché, so this sounds like his unique experience. This is the kind of song that helps you understand an artist a lot better.
The only thing we didn’t like was the layering of his vocals for the harmonies on the chorus. Sampha has the kind of voice that, while not perfect, does have its appeal in its honesty and emotion. When he gets too loud or has too much amplification though, you hear the off-key notes more acutely and, instead of being an endearing quality, it makes that section hard to listen to. It only happens once, but it will throw some listeners off. Despite that, though, it’s worth a few listens.
This is from the singer/songwriter’s upcoming album, Process, due out February 3.