Photo: Jesse Crankston

Sampha feels held on “Spirit 2.0”, his first track in six years

Sampha is back! While we’ve heard his inimitable voice on a bunch of projects from the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Actress, Stormzy SBTRKT and more in the interim, “Spirit 2.0” is the first solo release from the performer since his 2017 album Process.

Of “Spirit 2.0”, Sampha says: “It’s about the importance of connection to both myself and others, and the beauty and harsh realities of just existing. It’s about acknowledging those moments when you need help – that requires real strength. I hope people can enjoy that feeling of someone being there for you, even if that person doesn’t have the answers. Just calling someone up without overthinking… letting go and just dancing.. wanting to see past the mundanity of things and appreciating the magic of it all, from birds nests to spaceships.”

“Spirit 2.0” features musical contributions from Yussef Dayes, El Guincho and Owen Pallet alongside vocals from Yaeji and Lisa-Kaindé Diaz of Ibeyi.

The track presents a bed of skittering drums, echoing piano chords and minimal electronics, with Sampha’s dominating and delivering vivid imagery to place us inside his psyche. “Safe in conversation / you question where I’ve been,” he sighs, detailing an intimate moonlit moment (but also nodding to his prolonged absence), letting himself get more vulnerable as he sinks into the moment. “Next thing I’m drifting into open sky and I don’t feel so scared” he announces with his oceanic voice as strings swoop in adding an extra dash of beauty to the breathtaking moment. He then switches to a staccato delivery to remind us that life, love, friends and more will catch us, no matter where, when or how we fall down in life. With “Spirit 2.0” Sampha not only reminds us how powerful a performer he is, but reminds us that the peaks and troughs of life are par for the course, but we will always be picked up by our internal and external connections to life.

Listen to “Spirit 2.0” via the visualiser below or find it on your preferred streamer.

“Spirit 2.0” is out on Young. With hopefully more news to come about an album, make sure to follow Sampha on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.