”(No One Knows Me) Like the Piano,” the third single from Sampha’s forthcoming debut album Process, is stunning in its solitude. The London electro-soul artist has played the role of crooner plenty before but not exactly like this. This might well be the most aching and moving effort of his still-burgeoning career, possibly the most beautiful track released in the first dozen days of 2017.
The song isn’t simply beauteous because of Sampha’s rich piano playing or his warmly inviting vocals; ”(No One Knows Me)” succeeds because it validates the power of music. It’s a sacrament to song. “You took hold and never like me go, because no one knows me like the piano, in my mother’s home,” he sings to the rafters in the track’s waning moments. He almost chokes up on that final line because there’s so much being honored there: his family, his childhood home, the instrument that brought him so far.
And Sampha puts it front and center here. The only minor “incursion” is a low-end, burbling synth that’s barely noticeable when competing with such hypnotic vocals and stately piano playing. “You would show me I had something,” he sings from behind those same keys. Something real. Something heartfelt. Something masterful. Something indeed.
Process is out via Young Turks on Feb. 3—you can preorder it here. You can listen to ”(No One Knows Me) Like the Piano” below, catch Sampha live this Friday on Jimmy Fallon’s show, and see him in-person on the dates listed below.
Sampha Tour Dates:
06 – Chicago, Ill. @ Metro
08 – Washington D.C. @ 9:30 Club
09 – New York, N.Y. @ Terminal 5
11 – Montreal, Quebec @ Corona
12- Toronto, Ontario @ Mod Club – SOLD OUT
13 – Toronto, Ontario @ Mod Club
11 – Paris, France @ La Cigale
12 – Brussels, Belgium @ AB
13 – Cologne, Germany @ Gloria
15 – Hamburg, Germany @ Uebel & Gefährlich
16 – Copenhagen, Denmark @ Vega
18 – Berlin, Germany @ Astra Kulturhaus
19 – Warsaw, Poland @ Proxima
21 – Milan, Italy @ Fabrique
23 – Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Paradiso
24 – Utrecht, Netherlands @ Catch Festival
26 – Birmingham, U.K. @ O2 Institute
28 – Bristol, U.K. @ O2 Academy
29 – London, U.K. @ Roundhouse – SOLD OUT
14- Indio, Calif. @ Coachella Festival
21 – Indio, Calif. @ Coachella Festival
24 – Auckland, New Zealand – Studio
25 – Brisbane, Australia – Triffid
27 – Sydney, Australia – Sydney Opera House – SOLD OUT
28- Sydney, Australia – Sydney Opera House
29- Melbourne, Australia – The Croxton
02 – Barcelona, Spain – Primavera Sound
10 – Porto, Portugal – NOS Primavera