London-based artist Josiah Mortimer releases his debut album TODAY (Fri 28th May), recorded entirely from home during lockdown
Shimmer, by Brixton singer-songwriter Josiah Mortimer, consists of nine acoustic-based tracks reflecting on the past year – with many written in the height of London’s latest lockdown, this February.
It was recorded from Josiah’s South London flat, and mixed and mastered by Washington-based producer Greg Pierce. Josiah plays acoustic guitar, kalimba, bass, mandolin, and all vocal parts on the album.
It comes hot off the heels of Josiah’s recent EP This Town, dedicated to the key-workers of the pandemic, and raising funds for UK hunger charity FairShare in January. Reviews of This Town described it as ‘potent’ and ‘captivating’, with one US reviewer describing it as ‘fresher than a bag of apples’ .
Josiah took part in this year’s February Album Writing Month, writing an album’s worth of content in February, before honing and recording in March. It’s a 'truly DIY project', produced at almost zero cost.
All funds from Shimmer will go to Global Justice Now, which is campaigning for greater global access to Covid vaccines.
Josiah draws on acoustic and folk influences including Nick Drake, Joni Mitchell and John Martyn. Shimmer is a musical diary of the turmoil of the past year – with themes of isolation, as well as unity and hope.
Josiah said: “I’ve been making music for a long time now, so it’s really exciting to finally have an album out there. It has been a true lockdown project!
Music can play a big role in capturing and processing our experiences, and that’s what I’ve tried to do with Shimmer. I hope some of what’s in here resonates with people.
“Things felt so strange and bleak at the start of last year, and this album really tracks an emotional rollercoaster. As we come out of the pandemic, it’s good to reflect on how we all pulled together in these really tough times.
I hope this album can do something positive, by supporting the urgent campaign to ensure developing countries have much greater access to the Covid vaccines. We're lucky to be coming out of the pandemic in the UK - now we need to pull together to support the rest of the world.
The album combines intricate finger-picked melodies, with rich harmonies and catchy hooks. They range from built-up power ballads to stripped-back guitar and vocal pieces.
Josiah was recently shortlisted for a BRXTN Studios music prize, and has performed across the UK. He has played on bills with Billy Bragg and Get. Cape. Wear. Cape. Fly, and performed at venues including the Eden Project, People’s History Museum, as well as folk venues and pubs in Cornwall, York (where Josiah studied) and London.
Shimmer will be available on all streaming platforms and services.