Pete Josef is an artist who uses his soulful eloquence not just to entertain, but to open up conversations about his own social consciousness. He has an inherent need to create, build, share and protect as well as educate himself about issues regarding the environment, society, politics, race and gender.
Josef’s 4th offering of 2023 is a deep and dreamy slowjam with a head nod groove and ethereal, twinkling Fender Rhodes. ‘Lost Yourself’ feels in some respects like a return to the deep soul of Josef’s 2015 premiere, ‘Colour’, albeit with a more robust bedrock of hip-hop drums, provided by drummer-producer, Greg Freeman.
Freeman and Josef sculpted the track together at NAM studio, Wiltshire with a vintage Trident console and the help of Ben Jackson Cook (Rag n Bone man). Recorded well into the long night, they recall tracking the final weary bass takes at 2am by lamp-light, no doubt adding to the drowsy feel of the track.
The production builds from a lonely, hanging jazz piano sample and Josef’s sleepy, stoned vocal, to an orchestrated sound – a flugelhorn section and some improvisational wisdom from Eli Jitsuto (Snazzback) on guitar.
The lyrical narrative muses on the universal battle with ego, and hones in on those rare friends who start to believe their own hype – those who have ‘lost themselves’…
‘Undecided. A soul divided. Where’s the realness that your essence has provided…you been playing to the crowd and now you lost yourself’.
It is hard to escape early Stevie references, but the track takes Josef into new sonic space too, aligning with other voices in contemporary Soul such as Michael Kiwanuka and Leon Bridges.
‘Lost Yourself’ is taken from Pete Josef’s forthcoming 2024 album. Spring 2024 UK tour TBA.