Emeli Sande is back with her brand new single, Hurts, and she sounds as great as ever. Four years after her debut album, the British songstress released her comeback track on 16 September and admitted it felt as though she was "starting from scratch" with her new material.
The 29-year-old, real name Adele Emily Sande, premiered Hurts during an appearance on BBC Radio 1's Breakfast Show with host Nick Grimshaw. The single boasts a dark, haunting vibe with the orchestral strings, backing choir and Sande's soaring vocals making for an anthemic sound. The reflective tone of Hurts is likely to have been inspired by Sande's divorce from Adam Gouraguine after a year of marriage in 2014.
Lyrics include; "Baby I'm not made of stone, it hurts/ Loving you the way I do, it hurts," and, "Oh man, what a tragedy, ha, ha, bang, bang/ There goes paradise." She also muses: "Why we always had to roll the dice, la, la/ Heartbreak on the regular, two seats in the back of the cinema/ ... You're forgetting it and all the mad s**t we did after that, crazy."
Addressing her lengthy spell away from recording, Sande told Grimshaw: "I wanted to go back to the way I made the first album, not thinking about any anticipation, just focussing on if this is good music or not. Will this touch people? Will it connect with people?"
She added: "[The label] really trusted me to put together music that I felt was important. It definitely got to a point where they were like: 'Maybe someone should have a chat'. [I'm] starting from scratch. I have to treat it like I'm a brand new artiste and introduce everyone to the new sound and new stories."
Listen to Emeli Sande's new single Hurts on Spotify:
Sande became somewhat of a national treasure in 2012 following the release of her debut album Our Version Of Events. The album, which featured the hit singles Heaven, Next To Me, Daddy, Clown and My Kind Of Love, reached number one on the UK charts. The singer's ballad with Professor Green on Read All About It took on a life of its own becoming of the best-selling songs of the year while her collaboration with Labrinth on Beneath Your Beautiful also garnered critical acclaim. Sande's debut album also earned her three Brit awards including the coveted British album of the year.
The Scottish songwriter also became a prominent figure at the London Olympics 2012 with performances in both the opening and closing ceremonies while her music was often played during ad breaks. Many complained at the time that Sande was over-exposed but they seem happy to have her back now.
One fan raved about Hurts on Twitter, writing: "@emelisande your new single Hurts is Amazing. I love it.. Congratulations it's going to be huge," while another said: "Emeli sande is back and killed it with hurts." Another commented: "Okay, so @emelisande just slayed, slayed, slayed. Deep song, deep lyrics. Love everything about #Hurts."
Hurts will feature on Sande's forthcoming second album Love Live The Angels, which is set for release on 11 November 2016.