Well shock, horror! Sam Smith just came out. But in his coming out interview Smith refused to label himself.
‘In the Lonely Hour is about a guy that I fell in love with last year, and he didn’t love me back. I think I’m over it now, but I was in a very dark place,’ Smith said. He’s not saying that he’s gay, and nor is he declaring himself as bisexual. In this day and age, does it really matter?
It hasn’t come as a huge shock to some, with many questioning his sexuality long before In the Lonely Hour. Indeed Disclosure’s ‘Latch’ features two women making out over Smith’s crooning and one has to ask now whether Smith had some sort of say in Disclosure’s decision to make such a profound statement with their debut single. Indeed, some online have also questioned the timing of Smith’s announcement. He came out after the release of his debut album (which is heading for the top spot on Sunday) and some fans and non-fans are questioning whether Smith refrained from saying anything earlier lest it damage his album sales.
But Smith has played a clever trick on his stunning debut. He uses gender-neutral terms throughout (preferring to sing to an elusive ‘you’, rather than a definite ‘he’ or ‘she’).
‘So will you be my life support?’ Smith asks on ‘Life Support’; ‘You can lay with me so it doesn’t hurt’, Smith coos on ‘Stay With Me’; and Smith declares ‘Leave your lover, leave him for me’ on ‘Leave Your Lover’.
All of these examples could refer to a multitude of scenarios, and the songs could easily be about Smith declaring his love to ‘a guy, a female or a goat’. That way In the Lonely Hour is accessible to all.
Smith hinted at his sexuality last week with the release of the promotional video for ‘Leave Your Lover’ – which features a gay love triangle. The pain is prominent upon Smith’s face at the close of the video, but it was still ambiguous enough for some to question Smith’s sexuality. Perhaps that’s why he’s chosen now to come out.
But so what. Smith likes guys. Big deal. That doesn’t matter. What does is the music, and In the Lonely Hour is, in a word, sublime.