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Released: 2022

Features: Kim Petras

“Unholy” by Sam Smith, featuring Kim Petras, is a bold exploration of deceit, secrets, and desires. It’s audacious and somewhat risqué as it uncovers a thrilling narrative about forbidden, undisclosed activities taking place behind the scenes of a seemingly respectable facade.

The verse “Mummy don’t know daddy’s getting hot / At the body shop, doing something unholy” sets the tone for the song, introducing an element of secrecy and betrayal. The ‘body shop’ likely refers to a strip club or similar environment, and ‘daddy’ in the context of the song refers to a wealthy, possibly married man who is visiting this place seeking enjoyment away from his domestic responsibilities. The usage of fifth harmony ‘unholy’ here conveys a sense of moral wrongness or sin, encapsulating the taboo nature of his extracurriculars.

The chorus “He’s sat back while she’s dropping it, she be popping it / Yeah, she put it down slowly” speaks to the dynamics of this secretive world. Phrases like “dropping it” and “popping it” are often used in pop culture to describe provocative dancing typically found in clubs. The mention of him sitting back highlights his enjoyment of this spectacle, further emphasizing the clandestine nature of these interactions.

The verse “She got married to a boy like you / She’d kick you out if she ever, ever knew / ‘Bout all the – you tell me that you do / Dirty, dirty boy” continues to underline the secretive vibe. Here, the ‘dirty boy’ is painted as a deceiving figure whose spouse remains oblivious to his clandestine activities.

Kim Petras’ part sparkles with lines like “daddy, daddy, if you want it, drop the add’y / Give me love, give me Fendi, my Balenciaga daddy”, creating an image of a luxurious lifestyle filled with designer labels. ‘Addy’ here is slang for address, and considering the rest of her section, it elicits an image of a daddy’s girl leading an opulent life. These lyrics depict a common theme in the pop genre, the transactional relationships fueled by materialism and desire between wealthy men and the women they lavish with expensive gifts.

As a whole, “Unholy” by Sam Smith and Kim Petras paints a vivid image of the underbelly of nightlife filled with deceit, secrets, and desire. It serves as a critique of faux respectability veneer on top of a world brimming with ‘unholy’ activities, spinning a narrative that is both captivating and thought-provoking.

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