Strange Faith - Walking Over (Digital Single, Tru Thoughts, 2015)
Strange Faith - Walking Over
(Digital Single) Tru Thoughts TRUDD145, 2015-08-14
01. Walking Over 02:42
02. Hard Work In (Good Lovin Out) 03:08
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Tru Thoughts : official | bandcamp | facebook | juno | parisdjs | soundcloud | twitter | youtube
Press Release :
Out 14th August, the digital double A-side “Walking Over” / “Hard Work In (Good Lovin Out)” is the first single ahead of the 'Love & Poverty' album by Strange Faith.
This new collaborative project brings together a varied cast of top-drawer musicians including country-soul singer-songwriter Jeb Loy Nichols and jazz/soul/folk producer and composer Benedic Lamdin, acclaimed for his output under the Nostalgia 77 moniker alongside work with the likes of Valerie June, Jamie Cullum and Prince Fatty.
Strange Faith puts a rich and vibrant, breezy yet bluesy twist on the laid-back soul sound and earthy lyrical slant that has seen Nichols crowned the “high priest of country cool” by Rolling Stone magazine.
But while his voice is unmistakable, this is a far cry from being a Nichols solo effort, and it shines with the vital and equal input of a talented ensemble: in attendance at the original session, held at drummer Antonio Feola's Fish Factory studio in London, were Feola himself on drums, Ned Crowther on bass and vocals, Nichols on guitar and vocals, and Lamdin also playing guitar.
The album is infused with the contrasting atmospheres of the inner London location where the arrangements and recordings took place, and the Welsh countryside where US native Nichols has made his home and where these songs first began their existence. “I took daily walks last summer up and down the hill that leads to my home, and all the songs just seemed to spring out my footsteps,” says Nichols.
The sweet ambling of “Walking Over” is almost a mission song for the LP, while “Hard Work In (Good Lovin Out)” channels the fantasy of Dylan making a record at Stax in the '60s, carrying on the strolling momentum and the cross-pollination of freewheelin’ folk with vintage soul music.
Elsewhere, the album continues to explore this mix of soul and folk, laced with uplifting harmonies and accented by the characterful electric guitars and sway of country music, the driving force of rhythm & blues, the freedom of jazz, and gentler melodic moments that highlight a luminous, heart-on-sleeve lyrical poetry.
Like many of the projects with which Ben Lamdin is involved – including last year's massively acclaimed (and BBC 6Music Playlisted) dub/jazz exploration with Prince Fatty, and his many live albums under names including Nostalgia 77 & The Monster – Strange Faith grew organically from an informal session that proved too special to ignore and became a repeat occurrence. “Every month or so we then got together for a couple of days and cut new tunes or added and changed others”, recalls Lamdin; “Just playing and recording for the sake of it. The sessions were always fun and mercifully free of expectation. Anything that didn't work fell by the wayside. Nobody mourned the lost. The result is a record of simple, straightforward songs, recorded as we found them.”
Emphasising the melting pot of characters, places and musical styles at the heart of this music, Nichols goes so far as to say, “I don’t recognise myself on this album; it’s really nothing to do with me”. He elaborates: “Strange Faith is to do with us, with us in London, in the studio: the coming together of very different people to make something new… learning and discovering the songs together. It's a conversation. A conversation that may begin in Wales but always finishes in London.”