Love & Poverty is the debut album from Strange Faith, a new collaborative project involving 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 brings a rich and vibrant, breezy and jazz-inflected twist on the laid-back soul sound and earthy lyrical slant that has seen Wales-based American artist Nichols crowned the “high priest of country cool” by Rolling Stone magazine.
Although his voice is unmistakable, ‘Love & Poverty’ is a far cry from being a Nichols solo effort, and it shines with the essential and equal input of a talented ensemble: in attendance at the original session, held at drummer Antonio Feola’s studio, were Jeb Loy Nichols on guitar and vocals, Feola himself on drums, Ned Crowther on bass and vocals, and Lamdin playing guitar.
Like many of the projects with which Lamdin is involved this one grew initially from an informal session that turned into something 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; “I don’t think anyone thought any more of it than 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.”
The sound of this album is infused with the contrasting atmospheres of the inner London location where the sessions took place and the Welsh countryside, where Nichols lives and where the songs started their lives.
“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,” he elaborates; “Maybe that’s why they’re all roughly the same tempo – a walking tempo – some faster (going down hill) and some slower (coming up hill).”
01. Sun Gone West
02. Hard Work In (Good Lovin Out)
03. Fair Weather
04. Just A Man
05. My Old Friend
07. Walking Over
08. Just A Few Feet From The Gutter
09. Tell Me Why
10. Sweetest Sweetheart
11. Say Thank You
The album Strange Faith “Love And Poverty” (Tru Thoughts) is going to be released September 11, 2015.