Simmerdown b/w Skin and Bones
The first single from Nostalgia 77’s long-awaited fourth studio album featuring the vocals of German singer Josa Peit.
‘The Sleepwalking Society’ comes almost four years after ‘Everything Under The Sun’ – the last Nostalgia 77 studio album proper – and in that time Benedic Lamdin has been busy working variously as producer, engineer, musician and more on projects involving Keith and Julie Tippett, Jeb Loy Nichols, Lizzy Parks, Larry Stabbins, Alice Russell, Sara Mitra, Fringe Magnetic, Golden Age of Steam and his own Nostalgia 77 Octet:. Nostalgia 77’s fervent fanbase has been clamouring for his return and can now rest assured that it has been worth the wait, as the spoils of those extra-curricular excursions inform a new stylistic palette and a fresh intensity on the new LP.
Although Nostalgia 77 is widely known for his work as a jazz producer (with plaudits including the John Peel ‘Play More Jazz’ award, and Gilles Peterson’s Jazz Track of the Year) ‘The Sleepwalking Society’ is rich with overtones of blues and folk and runs the whole range of influences from the different styles of music that he loves. “It feels great to go back and provide another chapter in the Nostalgia 77 story … each time I return to it with more ideas and experiences from working with other musicians on other projects”, says Lamdin.
Key to the structure and cohesion of ‘The Sleepwalking Society’ was Lamdin’s decision to work with just one vocalist, where he has previously called on a handful of featured singers. The invigoratingly rich-voiced Josa Peit takes on this role like she was born to do it, having contacted him via email and sent some demos. “I was really taken with her. Josa has an amazing texture to her voice and an intention and intensity that I think is rare in singers these days”, Lamdin expounds. “You can hear a lot of different influences: I’m sure she would cite the great old American women of jazz, I also believe she’s very much influenced by the new school of singers like Heidi Vogel and Feist – there’s a quirkiness and variety in her delivery that is very modern too.”
“Simmerdown” is the perfect introduction to the album and to the ingredients that Peit brings to the record – sensual, strong and earthly with a dusting of the ethereal and fanciful, and some bluesy subversions of note and melody; the welcome opposite of an auto-tuned voice for hire, in other words. A little bit gospel and a little soul in its influence, “Simmerdown” is a mood piece about finding calm within yourself or with another person; a few listens and its lullaby effect will seep into and diffuse even the most stressful of days or moods.
The “Simmerdown” video has an ethereal, out of time quality, achieved by shooting the basic footage and overlaying different flares and light. Exclusive to the single, the B side, “Skin And Bones”, is a jam over a rhythm written by bassist Riaan Vosloo, inspired by a Mary Lou Williams quote, with Josa Peit riffing the lyrics.