Published on April 14th, 2019 | by Jameelah "Just Jay" Wilkerson0
Emeli Sandé – Sparrow
On June 7, Capitol Records will release Emeli Sandé’s new album, Real Life. Available HERE for pre-order, the album was recorded following an intense personal journey of self-doubt and self-discovery. Real Life marks a brand-new chapter for the four-time BRIT Award winner, who forges a bold, confident and fearless new sound. Fans who pre-order the digital album will instantly receive the first single, “Sparrow.” See below for track listing.
Feeling attuned with the disenfranchised state of the world, Sandé’s vision for Real Life was to give people hope and confidence. “Especially people who have been marginalized, forgotten or kicked down by this invisible oppression that’s always there,” she elaborates. “I just want to give people this incredible superpower every time they play the album. Like a battery pack – by the end of the album they’re going to feel restored.”
Indeed, Real Life does just that. Sandé wrote the lyrics for all 11 tracks and recorded the album with Salaam Remi, James Poyser and Troy Miller, who produced every song. “Human,” the opening track, is a sobering reminder of our vulnerability that sets the tone for the album as Sandé sings, “We all human/We all go through things.” It’s followed by the acoustic guitar lead “Love To Help,” a poignant statement of solidarity, and the soaring “You Are Not Alone.”
Building on this momentum is lead single “Sparrow,” which Rolling Stone praised as “a staggering new anthem.” Idolator said, “it’s a soaring ballad that serves vocals and emotion…Emeli is back and ready to reclaim her throne…” Watch the official video for “Sparrow” HERE. “Survivor,” with its flecks of R&B and gospel, showcases the singer’s dynamic voice and “Honest,” a tender piano ballad, sees the singer deliver one of the most emotive songs of her career. The cinematic, string-led “Free as a Bird,” which closes the album, is timeless.
On the disco-tinged “Extraordinary Being” and soulful “Shine,” Sandé pushes her sound further than ever, showcasing the faith of a woman and an artist who now truly understands herself, “I feel grounded,” she says. “With this album, I knew exactly what I wanted to say and do. I’ve come out the other side more confident, happier with more self-love.”
Real Life follows Sandé’s 2017 EP, Kingdom Coming, which included the singles “Starlight” and “Higher.” She has sold more than six million adjusted albums worldwide and nearly 20 million adjusted singles, across all tracks. Her full-length debut, Our Version Of Events, was named as one of the best albums of 2012 by critics worldwide and certified Gold in the U.S. It broke the U.K. chart record for the most consecutive weeks inside the Top 10, beating the 50-year record previously held by The Beatles. The first single, “Next to Me,” sold more than seven million downloads worldwide, including 1.5 million in the U.S., where it is certified Platinum.
Sandé’s second studio album, Long Live The Angels, was hailed as “a clear, accomplished cry from the heart” by The New York Times’ Jon Pareles. She went on to win “Best Female” at the 2017 BRIT Awards, marking her fourth BRIT Award win to date. She was also appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for her services to music in the 2017 Birthday Honours. The multi-instrumentalist initially made her mark as a songwriter in the U.K. urban scene, later becoming a highly sought-after writer for a wide array of international acts including Alicia Keys, Rihanna (alongside her friend, the producer Naughty Boy) and Katy Perry.