The multi-platinum award-winning singer-songwriter explores what it means to be truly free—to be in touch with the innermost self, daring to dive into themes of sex, passion, self-expression, and imperfection.
Still hot on the heels of their phenomenal Saturday Night Live appearance, British hitmaker Sam Smith finally releases their fourth studio album, Gloria. Described as an “emotional, sexual, and spiritual liberation,” the highly anticipated album comes with flamboyant visuals for the Calvin Harris-produced I’m Not Here To Make Friends.
The viral music video for I’m Not Here To Make Friends was directed by Tanu Muino, the same creative who worked with Lil Nas X, Harry Styles, and Normani. Gaining almost three million views to date, the video projects Sam as a vision in pink (custom-made by Tomo Koizumi), as they arrive in style—stepping out of a gold helicopter and then being greeted by a Bacchanalian-inspired celebration.
Coming fresh with such hedonistic, thrilling, and compelling style, we witness Sam in their element, taking over a country house filled with revelry at every corner as if fully embracing such a fateful moment. Here we see Sam going full wrecking ball, swinging from a grand chandelier as the track crescendos, while other partygoers fawn around them. The overall feel of the MV provides an allegory for unapologetic individuality, as it comes with visuals that denote freedom, joy, and self-expression—a canny introduction to the overarching theme of the album.
Here’s What You Have to Know About Gloria
As Sam Smith puts it, Gloria is not only a creative revelation. More than anything, it is something very personal to them. The album echoes the constricting shackles crashing to the floor, of boundaries joyfully breached, of a still-searching talent discovering what it means to be truly free: to be in touch with the innermost self.
True to its name, Gloria has been a creative challenge to Sam Smith as it sets out to craft the total opposite of a heartbreak album—a constructed album craved when growing up, the record you would wish to have accompanied you in your formative years. Gloria leans on some of the celebrated female figures from Sam’s musical world, including Jessie Reyez, Kim Petras, Koffee, and many others. This also courageously dives into an exploration of themes often avoided by many: sex, passion, self-expression, and imperfection.
The album’s title is not a nod to a person, past or present, but to that bristling, enigmatic life force, which Sam Smith has christened Gloria. When asked about their album, Sam explains: “Gloria is also a celebration of all the genres and all the female divas, vocalists, and pop writers that I love. I harnessed all those memories and put them into one album. And I wanted to be defiant. My diva album? I think so! I think I’ve finally let my Gloria out.”
The 13-track album is fueled by a long-term collaboration with Jimmy Napes, Stargate, and Max Martin stablemate ILYA. Hence, the perfectly woven glitterball electro-pop, glorious melodic reverie, Jamaican dancehall freak-pop, exquisite piano balladry, and a choir-sung hymn.
Gloria features the recent dancehall-tinged offering Gimme with Colombian-Canadian R&B singer-songwriter Jessie Reyez and Jamaican reggae star Koffee. It also boasts the gut-wrenching Who We Love with multi-awarded singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, the euphoric dance floor staple Lose You, the beautiful Gloria lullaby, and the global behemoth, Unholy, which features Kim Petras.
Unholy is Sam’s eighth #1 hit, which has garnered 2 billion streams worldwide upon release. The said record was Sam’s first Billboard Hot 100 #1, making history with collaborator Kim Petras as the first non-binary and transgender artist to land on the top spot. Not only that, but it has also been nominated for a GRAMMY, as it has remained #1 on the Spotify and Apple Music global charts for over 4 weeks since its release. At present, Sam Smith remains one of the three global artists who debuted at #1 on the UK Official Charts in 2022—holding 4 weeks at the top.
Gloria Tracklist (Sam Smith)
As per Sam Smith, Gloria is their most confident and creatively fulfilled version of themselves to date. Giving the album a listen will make you feel their courageous spirit overflowing throughout the tracks on the album. The genius juxtaposition of religion and sexual liberation within Gloria provides what seems to be a coming of age as they step into their truth.
Gloria’s complete tracklist is as follows: Love Me More, No God, Hurting Interlude, Lose You, Perfect (Jessie Reyez), Unholy (Kim Petras), How to Cry, Six Shots, Gimme (Koffee and Jessie Reyez), Dorothy’s Interlude, I’m Not Here To Make Friends, Gloria, and Who We Love (Ed Sheeran).
Sam Smith is taking Gloria across the globe with his already scheduled performances in North America, Australia, and New Zealand. They will kick off in the UK and host two nights in London’s O2 Arena, before traveling across Europe and closing in Manchester’s AO Arena.Will Sam Smith hold a concert in Singapore? Stay tuned for more updates. For now, give Gloria a listen here.