Listen: Jessie Ware’s stunning new song “Say You Love Me”


Upon first hearing “Wildest Moments” in 2012, I was convinced it would be Jessie Ware’s breakthrough pop single. While it gained some commercial traction and helped her emerge as a true solo artist after years spent providing vocals for SBTRKT and Sampha, it never quite hit the charts as hard as I thought it would. The same went for the rest of her debut album Devotion — as a whole, the LP was excellent, but its songs didn’t draw the kind of widespread, mainstream appeal that her former PMR label mates Sam Smith and Disclosure have been enjoying as of late.

However, with Ware’s forthcoming sophomore record, Tough Love, I feel that’s all about to change. The UK songstress recently revealed that she feels “more confident” this time around; that new-found self-assurance is certainly felt in songs like “Champagne Kisses”“Share It All”, and the album’s elegant title track. But it perhaps is most evident in her latest single, “Say You Love Me”, which was co-written with Ed Sheeran in New York City.

Premiered today on Zane Lowe’s BBC Radio 1 program, the BenZel-produced number reads like one of Ware’s very best, a straightforward pop ballad that feels big and radio-ready, yet never once sacrifices her sophisticated sense of poise and sentimentality. “Say you love me to my face, I need it more than your embrace/ Just say you want me, that’s all it takes,” she sings gingerly, her delicate croon often only backed by a lonesome guitar and a softly crackling beat. With the help of a choir, the second half of the track blooms to really gorgeous and inspiring heights. Listen in below.

Tough Love is due out on October 21st via PMR/Island Records and was executive produced by BenZel, with additional help from Julio Bashmore, The Invisible’s Dave Okumu, and Kid Harpoon.

Tough Love Tracklist:
01. Tough Love
02. You & I (Forever)
03. Cruel
04. Say You Love Me
05. Sweetest Song
06. Kind of…Sometimes…Maybe
07. Want Your Feeling
08. Pieces
09. Keep on Lying
10. Champagne Kisses
11. Desire