Cambridge-based singer Sam Smith made his name guesting on dance-pop tracks by rising stars like Naughty Boy and Disclosure, but the man is now taking the lead. Last month, we heard a sample from his forthcoming EP on PMR Records. With a co-write assist from labelmate Two Inch Punch, “Safe With Me” split the difference between Smith’s recent housier forays and his more instrumental solo past.
New song “Nirvana” is a breathy, subdued R&B ballad in the mold of Frank Ocean and perhaps (just a little bit) K-Ci & Jo-Jo — the latter thanks to those soaring heights that our channel ORANGE hero generally eschews. It’s all synthy strings and choral harmonies with flanged guitars and muffled drums. British duo Craze & Hoax handle the production fresh off of their collaboration with Outside Lands star Emeli Sandé.