Single Review: Sampha’s ‘Blood on Me’ is hectic and raw

Wednesday, September 14, 2016 - 6:14pm

Sampha

Young Turks

 

Until this year, I’d never heard a Sampha solo track, but not because the British R&B/electronic artist hasn’t made any. Although he released EPs Sundnaza and Dual, in 2010 and 2013, respectively, I’d unknowingly limited myself to his features on “Too Much” and “The Motion” off Drake’s Nothing Was The Same, “Saint Pablo,” the latest addition to Kanye’s The Life of Pablo and most recently, “Alabama” off Frank Ocean’s visual album, Endless.

But a feature spot “Blood on Me” is not. It’s heavy and enveloping, employing an eccentric yet somehow organic piano and cowbell combination. It’s hectic and raw as the artist literally pants his way through the first verse. It’s energetic and angry, leaving the listener unsure whether to samba or scream.

Sampha’s expectedly stunning vocals have never been accompanied by this kind of unexpectedly urgent production. And now that I know what he can do on his own, I’m only more excited for the release of his debut album, Process.