Jazmine Sullivan Returns With Heartbreaking Ballad ‘Lost One’

Jazmine Sullivan is casually devastating on “Lost One,” her first new single in over two years, which she released Thursday at midnight.

“Lost One” is a parched ballad, mostly just a guitar lick and Sullivan’s crystalline vocals. While the musical bed is unerringly calm, the lyrics are bracing, delivered from the perspective of someone sifting through the emotional wreckage of a broken relationship. “Sometimes it’s too late to make amends,” Sullivan sings. “There is one thing I need for you to know/Just don’t have too much fun without me.”

As the song’s narrator continues down this path, probing a still-raw wound, harsh self-recrimination starts to creep into her lyrics. “Try not to love no one,” Sullivan requests. “I know that that’s too much to ask/I know that I’m a selfish bitch.” Moments later, she reels off a series of dizzying, dazzling harmonies.

Sullivan is a virtuosic vocalist and gifted songwriter who works at her own pace. She took five years between her sophomore album, 2010’s Love Me Back, and the 2015 follow-up Reality Show. It’s been another five years since then with no new album in sight. During that period, Sullivan has landed cuts on other singers’ albums — penning several tracks on Mary J. Blige’s 2017’s Strength of a Woman — and made the occasional guest appearance, contributing to albums from Frank Ocean and Niia.

Sullivan’s last single was 2017’s “Insecure,” a duet with her label-mate Bryson Tiller that appeared on the soundtrack to the second season of Issa Rae’s popular HBO series. In 2019, Sullivan also appeared on songs by PJ Morton and Pentatonix.