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On First Listen: Jorja Smith, 'Falling or flying'

So much of Jorja Smith's music has been in my personal rotation over the years, it feels like she's been in my life for at least a decade. In reality, her breathtaking debut single "Blue Lights" came out in 2016, and her lone studio album to date was released in 2018 — which feels like forever ago in a lot of ways. Her 2021 EP, Be Right Back, was a nice holdover, but I've still been wanting more.

Smith is finally back to release her sophomore album, due out next month, and we here at Radio Milwaukee have been eagerly anticipating it. The 26-year-old singer-songwriter has been generous in the lead-up, giving us "GO GO GO," "Little Things" (which you've heard frequently on HYFIN) and "Try Me" (which we've been bumping all summer on 88Nine). On Wednesday, we got a fourth single and full track list for the upcoming LP.

"Falling or flying" is the title track, and it's packaged with a music video that doubles as Smith's directorial debut. It's yet another showcase of her effortless talent. The love song flows ever so smoothly from verse to verse, humming over a beat that contains a funky guitar medley and bassy keys combo reminiscent of Sade at their peak. I think Smith has reached that Goddess-like tier of R&B.

The self-directed video finds Smith in a cosmic bunker-like room, where she yearns for her lover to join her wherever she is in space. The crux of the visual — and the song — comes from the last line of the chorus:

I could bе fallin', flyin',
I wouldn't know the differencе

On the idea for the video, Smith said it "came to mind ’cause I always wanted to shoot a video in space. 'Falling or flying’ just made me think of that. I wanted to go up into space with someone I love and cherish, but they didn’t want to come with me.”

The 16-track falling or flying will be out Sept. 29 via FAMM. See the cover art and full track list below.

The album cover for Jorja Smith's second studio album, falling or flying
Liz Johnson Artur
Courtesy of the artist
The album cover for Jorja Smith's second studio album, falling or flying

falling or flying track list:

  1. Try Me
  2. She Feels
  3. Little Things
  4. Flights Skit
  5. Feelings feat. J Hus
  6. Falling or flying
  7. GO GO GO
  8. Try And Fit In
  9. Greatest Gift feat. Lila Iké
  10. Broken Is The Man
  11. Make Sense
  12. Too Many Times
  13. Lately
  14. BT69 JJY
  15. Backwards
  16. What If My Heart Beats Faster?
88Nine Social Media Manager | Radio Milwaukee
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