U.K.-based singers Jorja Smith and Maverick Sabre are each rising stars in their own right. But put them together and the sonic slow burn only intensifies.
Maverick Sabre releases his first single of 2019, “Slow Down” — the third single off his forthcoming album, When I Wake Up — complete with a wistful video featuring both artists. This R&B ballad is sophisticated and sexy in nature. It’s riddled with riffs that invite you to listen intently. Its brass drums, low bassline and poetic snaps scatter loosely throughout. “Slow down won’t you come around” the singers repeat in between verses — a call-out to past lovers in hopes that they’ll return soon.
Directed by Rashid Babiker, the rainy visual for the song positions Smith and Sabre as ships passing in the night in the most relatable, mundane manner. (Sabre plays a cab driver, Smith is his passenger.) It’s the shared glances in the rear-view mirror that bind them.
Sabre and Smith are no strangers to dueting. In 2016, the Wexford, Ireland-born crooner was featured on Smith’s second single “A Prince.” The song was later referenced on another duet “Carry Me Home,” off Smith’s 2016 EP, Project 11. In 2018, Smith was featured on Sabre’s single, “Follow The Leader,” a flexed-out track that embodies individuality and “accountability for your own decisions.”
Even though Sabre is more likely to experiment with jazz and electronics while Smith loses herself in soft beats laden in profound thought, their collaborations always offer something new and magical. The evolution of their work feels like an intricate dance that’s constantly adding footwork.
When I Wake Up is out March 22.