Adele is once again pining for her past, and the hurt sounds so good. After sharing a melancholic moment with her younger self on “Hello,” the singer took to live performance for the premiere of her second single, “When We Were Young.” London’s Church Studios was kind enough to host, packing backup singers, multiple percussionists, a grand piano, and Adele into their space.
“When We Were Young” was written with Tobias Jesso Jr., and you can hear his influence all over the piano-driven arrangement. The song builds slowly, lingering on vocals and piano in its introduction. Rather than burst at the chorus, Adele saves the wine glass shatter for the song’s peak (at 04:30). Any fears of rust or changes to the balladic formula can be crumpled and tossed: 25 sounds like it’s (somehow) going to live up to Adele’s previous work.