The race for Consequence of Sound’s 2013 Rookie of the Year may already be down to Lorde and HAIM, but Sam Smith is another young upstart having a banner year. In addition to his tantalizing and deeply soulful debut EP, Nirvana, the 21-year-old London native has collaborated with both Disclosure and Nile Rodgers. For further proof he’s a name to watch in 2014 and beyond, check out Smith’s new demo for “Not In That Way”, off his forthcoming debut album.
Unlike previous tracks firmly in the vein of soothing electro-pop or sensual neo-R&B, “Not In That Way” is a minimalist ballad singularly emphasizing his sheer vocal prowess. While Smith delivers lines like “I hate to say I want you/When you make it so clear/You don’t want me,” his angelic pipes, straddling the line between whispery croon and choral-inspired flourish, could make devotees of even the coldest of hearts. Because no matter his pacing or the tone, each note is a tiny blow to one’s emotional armor, tearing off layers of mistrust and cynicism until all that’s left is the desire to feel even the faintest shred of Smith’s gorgeous, life-affirming sense of heartache. Listen in below.