UPDATE (5/22): Watch Sam Smith's heartbreakingly gorgeous "Leave Your Lover" video now.
When Adele's soul-stirring 21 album obliterated all album sales from 2011 and 2012, it was a reminder of the power wielded by a strong vocalist with poignant lyrics. Three years later, cue Sam Smith: The British crooner who some—including Katy Perry—are predicting will have an Adele effect with his debut album. And based on the reaction to new song "Leave Your Lover," those predictions might be spot-on.
Lifted off his mega-anticipated In the Lonely Hour LP—out June 17—"Leave Your Lover" begins as a crisp, acoustic guitar ballad that highlights Smith's soothing falsetto. Quickly, the listener falls into the story of Smith's one-way love ("I'm in love with you and you will never know / But if I can't have you I'll walk this life alone"), its heartbreaking reality ("You'll never know the endless nights.../ Or how it feels to fall behind and watch you call his name") and his desperate request ("Leave your lover / Leave him for me").
It's a selfish request that's all-too-real for most listeners. Even if one hasn't felt that grave helplessness, Smith's impassioned delivery embodies the sentiment. To throw in yet another Adele reference, it's similar to how the British songbird was able to make the entire world understand her heartache through tracks like "Someone Like You" or "Set Fire to the Rain."
And it's resonating overseas, too. While the 21-year-old has two No. 1s in his native UK, he's yet to make any major chart moves stateside... emphasis on the yet. Upon its release, "Leave Your Lover" surpassed the likes of Ariana Grande and Iggy Azalea to hit No. 1 on the U.S. iTunes Top Songs chart.
And if this is giving you major Adele vibes, well, you're not the only one: Chart-topper Katy Perry told her 53 million Twitter followers she's predicting he'll dominate "like a male Adele." Will she be right?