Sam Smith offered a tender cover of Tracy Chapman‘s smash “Fast Car” during a recent session for the BBC’s Live Lounge series. While his band slowed down the song and offered up an arrangement that veered more towards the singer’s soul and R&B wheelhouse, Smith delivered yet another potent vocal performance, bouncing beautifully between a delicate, breathy croon and big, chilling belts.
Smith also stuck around for a rendition of his gospel-tinged ballad, “I’m Not the Only One,” and while there’s no video, an audio rip of the performance has made it on to YouTube. The track originally appeared on Smith’s debut LP, In the Lonely Hour, and was given an intense video that detailed the painful and destructive fallout of an extramarital affair. The clip starred Dianna Agron (Glee) as a heartbroken wife and Chris Messina (Argo, The Mindy Project) as a cheating husband.
Smith has been dazzling audiences with his vocal prowess throughout the summer, kicking things off with a bombastic performance of “Stay With Me” on Saturday Night Live where he was accompanied, no less, by a gospel choir. Smith’s other highlights from the past few months, apart from the release of In the Lonely Hour, include a performance at Bonnaroo, a duet with Mary J. Blige at the Apollo Theater and an aching rendition of Whitney Houston’s “How Will I know.”
About a month before In the Lonely Hour‘s release, Smith came out as gay, telling The Fader that much of the album was written about a man he loved who didn’t love him back. “I want to make it a normality because this is a non-issue,” Smith said. “People wouldn’t ask a straight person these questions. I’ve tried to be clever with this album, because it’s also important to me that my music reaches everybody. I’ve made my music so that it could be about anything and everybody – whether it’s a guy, a female or a goat – and everybody can relate to that.”