There's a woozy beat, some spoken words, a bit of warbling. A piano chimes in, some guitar noodling begins, then Jorja Smith, the year's most hyped new artist, mucks up some lyrics.

It's an unassuming start to what is surely the most assured debut of the year, one that will be named among many best-of lists come December. It's almost like the start of Lost & Found, Smith's first album that was two-years-in-the-making, is just a practice session, designed to put you off and make you go, "WTF?"

Two minutes later, she's put everything straight by unleashing her voice, a smoky, timeless, towering stunner, one that delivers a roundhouse kick to the head. It makes you realise that wayward opening was no mistake - it was just a warm-up. If she'd hit you with the full force of her voice first, you probably wouldn't have coped.

From there, Smith spends the rest of Lost & Found delivering one classic after another, like the soul-drenched class of Teenage Fantasy, the lost-love blues-pop smarts of Where Did I Go?, the Dizzee Rascal-referencing swagger of Blue Lights, and the bruising closing ballad Don't Watch me Cry.


By the end, she's wrapped her smokey vocals around so many octaves you'll discover some that you never knew existed. She might be cut from the same cloth as Amy Winehouse and SZA, but Jorja Smith has her own voice, and this is her own thing.

"I never thought I'd find something so assured," she sings on that opening title track, summing up her debut album all on her own.

Jorja Smith - Lost & Found

Label: FAMM