One of my favorite personal discoveries of 2017, Sampha’s debut album, Process, is just crazy good. I keep returning to it because, on each new listen, I discover something I missed before; a lyric, or layer, or sample, or some touch that he’s added in the production.
In a lot of ways, this record is a challenging listen. Electronic R&B is an apt description and not one that immediately draws me in, personally. It doesn’t groove from start-to-finish, it’s not riddled with melodic hooks, and there is a lot of raw emotion packed into each song. But, Sampha’s sheer talent, musicianship, songwriting and production chops, and (above all, for me) his incredible voice pull everything together in a powerful and captivating way.
All of that said, the record includes two completely accessible, dynamite singles — “Blood on Me” and “(No One Knows Me) Like the Piano.” I’m featuring “Blood on Me,” but it’s 100% worth the extra four-ish minutes to listen to “Like the Piano” — one of the most soulful and beautiful songs I listened to all year.