I would be lying if I said anything other than the following: Loyle Carner and Jorja Smith is the sort of pairing that I have always dreamt of but had somehow never crossed my mind until now. The collaboration between Carner, the acclaimed, Mercury-nominated wordsmith, and Smith, the future queen of R&B simply makes so much sense that the only surprise here is that is has taken us this long to hear the two meet on a track.
“Loose Ends” follows up on Carner’s impressive return in 2018 with the pair of singles “Ottolenghi” and “You Don’t Know,” building upon the already palpable hype surrounding one of the best UK hip-hop artists currently in the scene. Enlisting Smith, whom in 2018 saw both the release of her acclaimed debut album, Lost & Found, and a GRAMMY nomination for “Best New Artist,” “Loose Ends” bridges the newfound duo’s innate strengths to craft a song that is a shining exemplar for both the worlds of R&B and hip-hop.
Opening on a delicate, solitary piano and Smith’s vocals that resound with a modern yet classic quality, the pairing waste no time in illustrating exactly what kind of track “Loose Ends” will come to be. It is one that excels due to its inherent juxtaposition, reveling in just how beautiful the contrast between Carner’s husky South London rap stylings and Smith’s soulful outpouring is when you give them the proper space to explore their musicality.
While an undeniably beautiful collaboration, “Loose Ends” also emanates with a tinge of heartbreak as it touches upon moments of depression, the dark side of losing a normal life due to fame, and the death of Carner’s father. It is a touching musical sentiment wrapped in heavenly sonics. The sort of moving musical moment that feels like it would not have been possible if Carner and Smith were not actually friends, which, as we found out from the Instagram post teasing the single, they most certainly are.
Listen to “Loose Ends” below: