Sampha is on the run and someone’s following his footsteps. That much is obvious from the opening seconds of ‘Blood On Me’, a self-produced track purpose-built to bring tension to the boil. You can hear him panting, and the Londoner begins his tale by depicting “grey hoodies” who “cover their heads.” There’s a pursuit, and as the track builds from tap-tap percussion to a jolting chorus (“They smell the blood on me!” he bellows), it becomes increasingly hard to tell what exactly Sampha’s running away from.
One thing is clear, though. Through ‘Blood On Me’ and this year’s ‘Timmy’s Prayer’, Sampha has an incredible knack for painting a scene. Whether that’s the furious chase of this track or the sun-stained sense of less on his previous track, he’s a storyteller. There’s no use fooling around with ambiguity - everything about his music goes straight for the gut, which goes a long way to explaining why he’s music’s most in-demand collaborator. With debut album ‘Process’, he looks sure to make a solo statement worth the years of anticipation.
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