At the end of August we learned Sade was contributing a new song to Widows, director Steve McQueen’s new movie starring Viola Davis. As Pitchfork points out, tonight, that song is here.
“The Big Unknown,” which plays over the Widows end credits, is Sade’s second new song after ending a seven-year break earlier this year. It was preceded by “Flower Of The Universe,” also from a movie soundtrack. In that case, director Ava DuVernay personally requested a Sade song for her adaptation of A Wrinkle In Time. This time around Sade Adu contributed a song to Widows because she was a fan of the original ’80s TV show in the UK that served as McQueen’s source material.
Personally, I thought “The Flower Of The Universe” was only OK. “The Big Unknown,” on the other hand, is a song that puts Sade’s myriad imitators to shame — a minor-key ballad that manages to land some heavy emotional blows despite its impeccably tasteful lite production. “Only love could bring us to this bitter plane,” Adu sings. “And only one of us who’s gonna walk away/ Here in the deep below/ That only darkness really knows/ I’m hoping for a humble seed to grow.”
Adu’s bandmate Stuart Matthewman has indicated that the band is working on its first new album since 2010’s Soldier Of Live. Will “The Big Unknown” be on it? That’s… unknown. But it’s definitely available to hear below, right now, so do that.
Widows is in theaters 11/16 in the US. Its soundtrack is out digitally the same day via Milan Records, featuring Hans Zimmer’s original score.