Devotion was the kind of debut album that can loom over an artist’s entire career, never to be repeated. But judging from these early singles, Jessie Ware’s sophomore effort Tough Love is going to be even better than Devotion. We’ve already heard the simmering title track and the misty “Share It All.” Now comes the BenZel-produced “Say You Love Me,” co-written by Ed Sheeran, a song unlike anything else in her arsenal. In contrast to Ware’s usual understated retro soul, this is pure pop-rock, with a mix dominated by acoustic guitar and a melody that soars higher than Ware usually allows herself to climb. She really cuts loose on this one. If “Say You Love Me” is her attempt to break into American radio, it’s a fucking good one. The song debuted just now on Zane Lowe’s BBC show; hear it below.
The “Say You Love Me” single is out 9/29 via PMR/Island. Tough Love is out 10/6 in the UK and 10/21 in North America, also on PMR/Island.