Sam Smith’s a vocal powerhouse from across the pond. Still relatively unknown to American audiences, Smith is in the process of making the initial laps of touring behind his debut, In the Lonely Hour, won’t see an American release until June 3. He initially broke through in the UK as the guest on Disclosure’s “Latch” in 2012. Now, Smith is 21 and ready to truly break, and if his Saturday Night Live performance is any indication, it’s only a [brief] matter of time before “Sam Smith” is a household name.
See also: Miley Cyrus Redeems Herself on SNL
Smith brought a proper gospel choir and an intimate orchestra to the sound stage for “Stay With Me,” which soared. Nary a bad note or a dull one, Smith’s buoyant vibratto was straight-up intoxicating and it was impossible not to get swept up in a performance so heartfelt and true. How could you not hang on every note that crosses this kid’s lips? We’ve got nothing but accolades to spout here, so the music will speak for itself.
For “Lay Me Down,” Smith ditched the ceremony, the choir and the orchestra and vocally made love to little more than a piano and a cello. SNL hasn’t been kind to solo crooners–we all remember Lana Gate, even if we’d like to never think of it again–but Smith proved that the SNL stage is one that can make someone just as easily as it can break them. “Lay My Down” proves he’s clearly the type of artist that’ll launch from the position of the former, and it’ll be thrilling to watch him rise in the coming months.
So how were folks feeling about Smith’s performance on Twitter?
First, his more famous comrades in musical arms were huge fans: Jack Antonoff of fun. was really into it …
sam smith is brilliant
— jackantonoff (@jackantonoff) March 30, 2014
… As was Eric Hutchinson.
Sam Smith. Wow.
— Eric Hutchinson (@EricHutchinson) March 30, 2014
If killing a piece of audio equipment in cold blood were a crime, Smith would have a warrant out for his arrest.
Sam Smith just murdered the microphone. Raw, beautiful, real.
— NICHOLAS MEGALIS (@nicholasmegalis) March 30, 2014
Plenty freaked out about the very thought of Smith and Adele living on the same planet, let alone breathing the same air and performing with each other. It’s possible for two singers to have incredible voices AND English accents, guys! They’re both allowed!
Sam Smith/Adele duet. THINK ABOUT IT.
— Sarah Bellum (@ididthatonce) March 30, 2014
if there is a god, please let Sam Smith have the success Adele had after she hit SNL
— 106th (@106th) March 30, 2014
Sam Smith is Adele in drag, right? #SNL
— Andy Moleski (@andymoleski) March 30, 2014
I dont know if thinking #SamSmith is the male Adele should be taken as a compliment.
— Dale In Port Huron (@smashtransistor) March 30, 2014
Bet she totally stole your CD for her station wagon, too.
My mom is in love with Sam Smith now. I’ve done good.
— Damarcia ☯ (@MarciFTW) March 30, 2014
MIND/BLOWN: Smith is the young cousin of Alfie Allen (aka Theon Greyjoy from Game of Thrones) and Lilly Allen. Think about that dinner table on Christmas Eve for a sec.
Sam Smith is related to Theon Greyjoy, and I enjoyed that performance more than any scenes with Theon last season.
— Josh Kurp (@JoshKurp) March 30, 2014
Whoaaaaaaaaaaaa. We see it. (Still got Johnny on the brain, anyway.) (Wasn’t too bad when the guy who wrote it sang it, either.)
I liked that Sam Smith song better when Johnny Cash sang it and it was called “Won’t Back Down.” #SNL
— Lauren Reeves (@laurenreeves) March 30, 2014
Can’t get through a proper SNL Sound-Off without a few random physical appearance mash-ups. This one brings about a massive WTF but think about Macklemore and Jonah Hill fathering the same child for a sec.
I don’t know who Sam Smith is but he looks like the bastard child of Jonah Hill and Macklemore.
— Linton Samuel Dawson (@phairphunk) March 30, 2014
… And the consensus about Smith’s haircut was that he’s somehow played victim to North Korea’s fake haircut law.
Looks like Sam Smith already has the Kim Jong Un haircut, and he isn’t even North Korean. #SNL
— Brandi Mummery (@brandieatslava) March 30, 2014
Sam Smith on that Kim Jong Un swag.
— JAWN STOSSEL (@YESRyan) March 30, 2014
— Shirley Jenkins (@YourHoodLawyer) March 30, 2014
All in all, though, everyone felt stupid for sleeping on Smith —
Can I say the world was late to sam smith now
— steven j. horowitz (@speriod) March 30, 2014
— so the answer is yes.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on March 31, 2014
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