London-based artist Josiah Mortimer will release his debut album on Friday 28th May, recorded entirely from home during lockdown. Shimmer, by Brixton-based singer-songwriter Josiah Mortimer (28), 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/mastered by Washington-based producer Greg Pierce. Josiah is originally from Cornwall and 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 ‘for the love of it’.
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, to provide a musical diary of the emotional 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 scary and exciting to finally have an album out there. It has been a true lockdown project, and it’s been so interesting to see it develop from a writing challenge in February, to something I’m proud of. 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 2020, and this album really tracks an emotional rollercoaster. As we hopefully 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.
· Chase the Sun – a soaring love song, looking ahead to travelling again
· Cityscapes – on learning to love London
· Into the Night – a message of hope and solidarity, written as the UK headed into a second lockdown last year
· Shimmer – an ethereal, kalimba-based track, on cycling around ‘deserted’ South London streets last spring
· Shine – an acoustic ballad
· Simple Things – love song
· Stowaway – written in Cornwall, where Josiah grew up
· Tomorrow – a mandolin-based folk song, with philosophical influences
· Who We Are – a more pop-oriented song on being proud of who you are
Pre-order link: https://josiahmortimer.bandcamp.com/album/shimmer