“Unholy” by Sam Smith (ft. Kim Petras)
As of this writing “Unholy” has not been officially released, so what we’re currently analyzing is apparently a snippet that Sam Smith made available via Twitter. So far there’s a pre-chorus and chorus, both rendered by Smith, as well as a verse held down by Kim Petras, accessible for analysis. Based on those choruses, it would appear that in this piece the word “unholy”, most simply put, is synonymous with adultery or cheating on one’s lover.
In the pre-chorus, it is implied that maybe the female vocalist is being unfaithful to the male. But in the actual chorus, the subjects are a married couple in which “daddy”, unbeknownst to “mummy”, likes “getting hot at the body shop”. Said “body shop” would obviously be a metaphor (or perhaps the false destination he tells his wife) that actually points to a venue like a strip club or brothel.
But as for Kim’s verse, she doesn’t stick to that theme per se. Or let’s say that instead, she seems to be taking on the role of a lady who is considering being “unholy” herself. So what she is seemingly doing is letting her illicit suitor know, plainly put, that he’s going to have to cough up some big dough in the name of being the recipient of her wares, if you will.
So, it’ll be interesting to see where this song eventually leads us. On one hand, it reads as if it may be critical of romantic infidelity. But on the other, it comes off as if it is making light of said subject matter.
That said, at the end of the day, “Unholy” centers on the subject of romantic infidelity, though it’s currently challenging to ascertain its conclusive stance on the matter.
UPDATE: The Full Lyrics of “Unholy”
It would appear that in this piece, the word “unholy”, most simply put, is synonymous with adultery or cheating on one’s official lover. At the center of the narrative are three characters really, who would be:
- mummy’s husband “daddy”
- a working girl whom daddy’s decided to patronize
And as far as the verses are concerned, the roles that Sam and Kim take on are different.
Sam Smith’s Verse
In the first verse, Smith is basically chastising daddy as a “dirty boy” due to what he’s doing behind his wife’s back. Indeed, the situation is presented such that everyone else besides her knows what he’s up to. And it is also such that said individuals perceive him as a sloppy adulterer, if you will, i.e. someone who is not able to keep his illicit activities on the low as far as gossip circles are concerned.
And yes, to some extent it does kinda feel as if Sam may be referring to a fellow celebrity, though the lyrics don’t really go there.
Kim Petra’s Verse
Meanwhile, as for Kim’s verse, she seems to be portraying the lady whom daddy is going to visit at the “body shop”. This is the place he tells his wife he’s going to when he cheats, which sounds like he’s deceiving her into believing that he’s visiting a mechanic or something. But instead, said venue would be more akin to a strip club or brothel.
And what Petras is telling a guy like daddy, plainly put, is that he’s going to have to cough up some big dough in the name of being the recipient of her wares, if you know what we mean. Or let’s say that maybe mummy’s love for daddy is genuine, but his interactions with the working girls of course is more along the lines of straight-up business, whereas said workers are out to profit as much as possible.
So this is actually an interesting piece on a number of levels. For instance, it is virtually unheard of that we come across a song where a male is chastising another for being a cheater. Also, Petras does a compelling job of illustrating that no, a man shouldn’t dumb out and fool himself into believing that a sex worker actually has feelings for him.
To the contrary, her focus is in fact on income. So all things considered the thesis sentiment of this piece, as firmly implied, is that daddy needs to be at home minding his wife and kids as opposed to being out there in the world, doing his “unholy” thing.
Sam Smith and Kim Petras
This is Sam Smith’s first collaboration with Kim Petras. They were both born the same year, 1992, albeit in different countries (respectively the UK and Germany) and got into the game around the same time, circa the late aughts. However Smith can be currently considered the bigger star, since he’s dropped a couple of UK Albums Chart toppers, though it should be noted that Petras, who is based in L.A., appears to be more popular stateside than in her native land.
Release Date of “Unholy”
This track’s officially release date was on 22nd September, 2022. Both of the vocalists got to teasing it a couple of weeks prior, during late August, though Smith first hinted at its forthcoming slightly before that.
“Unholy” was produced by Swedish musician Ilya alongside the following:
- Blake Slatkin
- Omer Fedi
- Jimmy Napes
All four of them are also credited as writers of this song, as are Kim Petras and Sam Smith.