It’s rare and exciting to see a songwriter emerge from behind the curtain. With features on Wale’s “Love Hate Thing” and Skrillex’s “Stranger” writing credits for Rihanna, Estelle, Wale, Mary J. Blige and Jessie Ware, Chicago singer Sam Dew developed an impressive resume as a skilled support player. New song “Desperately” sees him stepping out on his own with confidence, the clarified focus of an artist, not just a hired gun writing hits for others.
Dew has the sort of pure, cutting voice that forces you to attention, even if only for a few moments. “Desperately” puts his arresting instrument on full display over a smartly shifting backdrop from producer and TV On The Radio-member Dave Sitek (who produced the entirety of Dew’s upcoming Damn Sue EP) that blends subtle electronics and organic instrumentation in a way that feels fitting of Dew’s writing and performance—mindful of the classics, rooted in the current moment. It’s an excellent introduction to Dew as a solo artist.