Sam Smith can’t outshine Adele.
Not that he’s trying to, but there’s only room for one power ballad right now, but Smith’s latest effort is a stunning and heartfelt attempt.
Smith premiered his solemn new song, “Drowning Shadows,” on Beats 1 Radio today (Nov. 2). Smith says it’s "the saddest song I've ever written and probably the least radio-friendly song I've ever written."
He adds, "I wanted to remind everyone where I come from as a songwriter and what my intent was when I was writing this album.”
"I always loved it, but something didn't happen right with the production when we were going through different versions of it," he said. "Something didn't work. I thought of it recently when we were thinking about the repackage, and we went in and just did it with piano."
Smith noted the song was inspired by taxi rides leaving recording studio sessions — would he journey home or out into the night?
"One road would lead to gay clubs I used to go out to, and the other road would go home," he said. "I was in such a lonely, sad place when I was writing this album that sometimes, I'd literally have to choose. The lyric is, 'Do I go home for nothing or stay out for more?'"