Before premiering his brand new track “Drowning Shadows” on Zane Lowe’s Apple Music show, Sam Smith prefaced the song by calling it “the saddest song I’ve ever written and probably the least radio-friendly song I’ve ever written.”
This latest track comes off Smith’s debut album In the Lonely Hour deluxe re-release. Written before “Stay With Me” and “I’m Not The Only One”, this melancholic tune takes recalls a dark time in Smiths life. “Do I go home for nothing or stay out for more?,” he asks, while haunting keys hammer in the background. “The more I drink, the more I drown,” he croons.
Initially the song didn’t work with the arrangements while producing the album, Smith told Lowe, “I always loved it, but something didn’t happen right with the production when we were going through different versions of it. 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.”
The story behind the track is as metaphorical as it was a real life depiction of loneliness, as Smith explains. “One road would lead to gay clubs I used to go out to, and the other road would go home.” He continues, “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?'”
Take a listen to the track above via Apple Music.