“Latch” was a huge track for Disclosure—it not only broke the group in America, it allowed Sam Smith, a ballad singer at heart, to sneak across the Atlantic disguised as a dancefloor king. Disclosure are getting ready to release their second album, Caracal, and they teamed up with Smith once again for their latest single, “Omen.” This one’s a little slower than “Latch,” but the ingredients are similar: hollow bass tones, a crooked beat indebted to Dilla and garage, and Smith’s soaring vocals, which fly from a tortured mid-range to a fierce falsetto in the blink of an eye. Here Smith sounds more indebted to ‘90s R&B than he has in the past, especially when he sings, needed you to show me, without you I am lonely.
The clip picks up where the video for the album’s first single, “Holding On,” left off. A tattooed character, seemingly on the run, ends up at a party. Dance offers temporary escape, but by the end of the song, the authorities have closed in once again: the screen goes black, shots break out, screams are heard, and you have to wait for the next single to find out what happens.
Caracal arrives September 25. Revisit Smith's FADER cover story.