Has anyone else noticed the beginning of the chorus for Jessie Ware’s ‘Midnight‘ is kind of the same as Demi Lovato’s ‘Sorry Not Sorry‘? I mean, it’s not exactly the same or anything, but the similarity is there. Listening to ‘Midnight’ now, with its punchy, percussive refrain, all I can think of is Lovato’s messy lead single. Still, I was never that keen on ‘Midnight’ anyway.
Thankfully, new single ‘Selfish Love’ bears no obvious resemblance to hits by former Disney stars. It’s a minimal, stylish track, the video serving as ‘Midnight”s prequel.
Ware is at her best when she’s keeping her cards close to her chest. ‘Selfish Love’ is the perfect example of this, Ware restrained but enchanting, singing over a sparse riff, her voice coquettish and coy. Ware’s vocals need little accompaniment, something that producers Benny Blanco and Cashmere Cat surely know, giving the track just the subtle but sleek framing it needs. It’s delicately handled, and done extremely well.
With Ware’s echoing vocals centre stage, her brutal lyrics are laid bare. She ponders on the cruelty of love with a chilling coolness, examining her vindictiveness with a detached curiosity. “I break you down just to get my way,” she croons, while in the video, her lover feigns drowning in an attempt to grab her attention. But Ware has other things on her mind, like dinner for one and a glass of wine.
‘Selfish Love’ is the second single from Ware’s upcoming third album that promises contributions from the likes of Ed Sheeran and Julia Michaels. We can only hope Sheeran’s knack for sap won’t taint Ware’s winning formula, because it’s ‘Selfish Love”s dark underbelly that makes it so irresistible. On her latest single, Jessie Ware proves that less isn’t just more, but it can be quietly unsettling too.