Sampha - "Timmy's Prayer"
Sampha, Sampha, Sampha. We've been waiting. And after hearing "Timmy's Prayer," I have to say that all the waiting was worth it. If you're going to keep making music that's this good, Sampha, you can take as long as you damn well please working on it. That said, I don't want to wait another three years for a solo track, but if the British singer and producer's recent note and radio interviews are anything to go by, new music, and maybe even an album, is on the way.
On "Timmy's Prayer," Sampha's instantly recognizable vocals take center stage from the beginning, fragile, certainly, but never hushed. Just as on 2013's Dual EP, the lyrics are poignant and direct, this time describing heartbreak in vividly brutal terms:
My vital organs are beating through / My ribcage opened, my heart ballooned I... I've lost another one I'm on the floor trying to dress my wounds / Address the fact it was mine to lose I... I didn't try enough
While we've certainly heard Sampha backed by electronic production before, especially on SBTRKT's albums, his own solo work has tended towards spare arrangements, often centered around piano and vocals (e.g. "Indecision," "Too Much"). Even from the beginning, "Timmy's Prayer" introduces new sounds (Are those bagpipes in the background?), but by the mid-point of the second verse, things take a surprising turn. A galloping beat comes in, heightening the sense of emotion and desperation as Sampha addresses the song's subject: "If you find me, I wanna tell you I love you so."
This one is special. Sampha is back.—Constant Gardner