Friday 29 January 2021

This Town: new EP from Brixton-based singer-songwriter, Josiah Mortimer - songs written during first lockdown and released in another

Josiah Mortimer: This Town

I rarely cover music genres outside of classical on this blog, but I could not resist this one as acoustic singer-songwriter Josiah Mortimer is a fellow Brixton dweller. 

Mortimer's latest EP, This Town (which debuts on 29 January 2020), was recorded in his Brixton flat in December 2020.

The EP is aimed as a tribute to everyone getting us through the pandemic, and the songs were mostly written during the first lockdown – and launched during the third. Josiah Mortimer said: "When scribbling down these songs in the first lockdown, I never thought I’d be releasing them in another lockdown nearly a year on. But I hope that makes them more relevant. It’s been a really welcome distraction – my way of processing everything that’s going on".

Josiah plays all the instruments on the EP, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, banjo, vocals, and bass, whilst influences include Nick Drake, Alexi Murdoch, Joni Mitchell, The Staves, and Sufjan Stevens. Having arranged and recorded all the parts, they were then mixed by producer Brendan McGreal from Cornish Underground.

Josiah was introduced to the acoustic guitar when he was 12, and has played the instrument ever since. He goes on to say, "My parents are quite musical so I've got a lot to thank them for. On this EP, I'm still playing the first acoustic I got when I was 16! It's nice to have instruments that you carry with you through life.   

Josiah Mortimer
Josiah Mortimer

My overall sound isn't particularly classical (and I still can't read music...), but I draw a lot from people like Bert Jansch, Nick Drake, Joni Mitchell, John Renbourn (and John Martyn!), who all had strong classical influences. I love traditional finger-picking techniques.

I used to be quite obsessive about genres - initially wanting to focus on folk. But I'm very happy just writing and playing, and learning from all the amazing music that's out there, however it turns out!

The EP is free, but people are encouraged to donate to FareShare, which aims to end hunger in the UK. 

The EP is released on 29 January, further details and downloads from Bandcamp, and the tracks will also be on Spotify.

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