Lockdown songs from a Brixton flat

mn with guitar in garden
Josiah Mortimer

Singer-songwriter Josiah Mortimer wrote and recorded an EP while locked down in his Brixton flat.

Released tomorrow (29 January), This Town pays tribute to heroes the pandemic, including members of his family.

The Brixton-based, singer-songwriter, 27, recorded the tracks during December and this January this year.

The finished product was produced in Cornwall – where Josiah grew up and his family still lives – by the Cornish Underground.

Josiah also photographed the cover art at during the first lockdown.

“When scribbling down these songs in the first lockdown, I never thought I’d be releasing them in another lockdown nearly a year on,” he says.

“I hope that makes them more relevant. It’s been a really welcome distraction – my way of processing everything that’s going on.”

man with guitar
Josiah Mortimer

The EP is also a tribute to everyone who is getting us through this pandemic – key workers, carers and NHS staff.

The EP will be free to download, but listeners are encouraged to donate to FareShare, the charity that works to end hunger in the UK.

Producer Brendan McGreal from Cornish Underground says: “This was a really positive remote collaboration, making the best of the opportunities we have – with good results.

“It’s been a pleasure and I’m looking forward to working together again.”

“Making perfect use of creative time at home in isolation, Josiah wrote, recorded and arranged all the parts for his tunes, then sent them to me for mixdown. 

Josiah plays all the instruments on the EP – acoustic and electric guitars, banjo, vocals, and bass.

He says his influences include Nick Drake, Alexi Murdoch, Joni Mitchell, The Staves, and Sufjan Stevens.

EP cover

The songs on This Town reflect on being in London over the past year:

Coming up for Air – written last summer, on hoping for a way out of the pandemic

Horizon – A message about not giving up hope about a “lost year”

This Town – a love letter to London, based on cycling around Brixton during the first lockdown

Forget the Land – Originally written as a poem, the song is about missing being on the river (Josiah is a gig rower when in Cornwall).

Josiah’s songs will go live on Spotify and all streaming services tomorrow, with links on his Facebook page