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The 11 best Paloma Faith songs

Why have a Top 10 when you can have one more? Here are our favourite 11 Paloma Faith songs, ranked

Paloma Faith brought something decidedly different to popular radio when she released her debut single back in 2009. A powerhouse vocalist and a bitingly sharp songwriter, she’s traversed genres from 50s dancehall to tropical house, still never losing that particular something that made her music instantly identifiable. In spring of 2024, the singer will embark on a massive UK tour, including stops at Lincoln Castle, London’s Eventim Apollo, and Cardiff’s Utilita Arena. Before she hits the road, we’ve gone back through her discography to find the very best 11 songs by Paloma Faith.

11. ‘Changing’

(A Perfect Contradiction, 2014)

Faith’s collaboration with drum and bass duo Sigma is an accomplished radio-friendly single that still manages to feel a little scrappy. Maybe it’s the blend of that rustic percussion and rumbling bass with Faith’s polished growl. The singer attacks lyrics about a desire to move forward in life with all the fire and fury of a woman who feels taken for a ride.

10. ‘Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful?’

(Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful?, 2009)

The title track of the Faith’s debut album is a folky power ballad that showcases her storytelling power, not just as a writer but as a vocalist. She draws us in with seductive jazz vocals, angelically clear in the song’s chorus before they ascend into an otherworldly falsetto in the bridge. There’s something threatening in it all, even as Faith’s voice soars over strings. “I am happy to deceive you,” she sings sweetly.

9. ‘Upside Down’

(Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful?, 2009)

The playful fourth single from Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful? is a cheerful, 50s dancehall-inspired track that pulls the listener completely out of time. Is it a little silly? Yes, but so are many excellent things. The Barbie movie, for instance, or every BBC game show.

8. ‘Lullaby’

(The Architect, 2018)

Paloma Faith and Sigala – an unexpectedly excellent pairing. The English DJ and producer could hardly have given Faith a more joyful track to lend her vocals to, and her distinctive style shines throughout. Much as we love singer-songwriters, purely happy pop is its own kind of fun.

7. ‘Just Be’

(Fall To Grace, 2012)

‘Just Be’ opens with a beautiful piano riff, and unlike some of Faith’s other tracks, doesn’t feel the need to drown it out by the end. Instead, we get an always-restrained musing on how love rewards patience and perseverance, Faith’s voice settling into a full and soulful place. “Let’s be unhappy forever/’Cause there’s no one else in this world that I’d rather be unhappy with,” she sings. The overall effect is stunning.

6. ‘If Loving You Was Easy’

(Infinite Things, 2020)

Faith elaborates further on the harder parts of love in this piano ballad from 2020’s Infinite Things. “I’m just as tired as you, but don’t ever forget we’ve got too much to lose,” she tells her partner, resolving that a love that survives challenges is her preference over an easy life every time. 11 years on from her debut album, Faith’s vocals are noticeably more mature, lending a weight to her words that makes the whole thing even more moving.

5. ‘Loyal’

(The Architect, 2018)

Another brilliant pop offering from The Architect, ‘Loyal’ is a little heavier, with Faith opting to stop looking for a perfect love and appreciate what she has in front of her. As ever, she rides the huge instrumental, vocals never lost in it but always leading. Faith’s released a fair few big choruses in her time but ‘Loyal’ has to be her most euphoric.

4. ‘Stone Cold Sober’

(Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful?, 2009)

Faith’s debut single is also the opening track on her debut album, and in both senses it’s a perfect introduction. “I can be wilder than the wind, 190 miles an hour,” she sings, warning the listener that she couldn’t be clearer in her mind. A nostalgic, brass-led instrumental and – naturally – huge vocals give us a taste of what’s to come over the next several years.

3. ‘If This Is Goodbye’

(Infinite Things, 2020)

‘If This Is Goodbye’ is on the darker side for Faith, and makes a listener wonder why she didn’t lean into this place more often. Her stadium-filling vocals soar over twinkly piano and orchestral strings, as she muses on the point of it all. “I had the heartbreaks, walked the line/But never have I lost this much before,” she sings, as the instrumental mounts up to a second climactic chorus. The nearly five-minute track only gets steadily bigger from there.

2. ‘Only Love Can Hurt Like This’

(A Perfect Contradiction, 2014)

This is quintessential Paloma: a vintage-sounding piece of soul-pop that allows her to really show off in the vocal department. As she should – that octave jump is not something to keep under wraps. Even when she isn’t hitting high notes, her vocal delivery is impeccable. “When you come close, I just tremble,” she sings with almost an audible shiver. There are cinematic strings, of course, but it’s that insistent bass drum that makes the track what it is.

1. ‘Picking Up The Pieces’

(Fall To Grace, 2012)

‘Picking Up The Pieces’ has to take the gold. It’s a truly excellent single in every department, from the skillfully direct lyrics, to that energised instrumental with its unexpected cellos, to Faith’s performance; angry and devastated but still ready to deliver a hit. A suddenly stripped-back bridge gives us a moment of pause before Faith sends her voice back up to the heavens. 2012 radio never soared higher.

Paloma Faith plays her 2024 UK tour from 3 April to 22 June – find tickets here