Sampha's frequently brilliant, but all too brief debut EP Dual captured a feeling of absence. Both figurative and literal, the London-nature painfully conveyed what loss can sound like on tape, and it was deafening. Even in the moments of "decompression", Sampha quickly jumped back into the fire begging "don't fail me now, I need your wishes" in his whispering croon. But more than just loss, there was the inevitable longing that arises when you stop getting what you want. The tale of a departed father reduced Sampha to a repetitive yelp of "all I want is more".
New track "Happens" intertwines the desperate threads of loss and longing. Over an alternately brisk and measured piano figure, Sampha's retreating to the shadows and attempting to pursue his love. "I find it hard to fully trust you" he exasperatedly sighs while slowing the piano to a crawl. Before the chase has even begun he's already questioning himself. Still that desire to conquer loss lingers. When the familiar chorus of "I can't let this happen...I don't want to lose it again" creeps in for the final time, his resolve is affirmed. Loss is an unmistakable part of life, but on "Happens" Sampha does his best to avoid the certainty.
Sampha's solo version of his Drake collabo "Too Much" backed by B-side "Happens" is out now in digital form through Young Turks and a 7" vinyl release is slated for January 6.