06 Jul Essex artist Longy releases the new single: “iMerica”
From its lacerating opening gambit, “i is for the motherf**ker, telling me to hate on colour” Longy makes his voice loud and intentions clear. A brash, in-your-face clash of RATM-esque rock fury, thunderous brass and incisive spoken-word, “iMerica” builds a searing critique of the contemporary cultural landscape that tackles issues of politics, nationalism, technology and racism.
Firing shots at America and the wider world, Longy says of the track’s visceral subject matter:
“I’m sure like anyone, the world was unhinged when Trump got into the presidency, I assumed the world would now be in a different place no matter what other countries did against him. I was sick of the racial slurs, that’s why I thought the first line should be absolute and completely on the plate…. ”
Initially beginning life as a band instrumental, Longy added its call-to-arms chorus during the intense Summer of 2020. Written looking out over the sea in his native Southend and lost deep in thought at the state of the world, Longy remembers:
“”As soon as the pandemic hit, we were bombarded by all these Netflix programmes and futuristic views. I’m a massive Charlie Brooker fan so it was easy to see where I think it’s going… I could have picked any country but America is just like watching a film daily live on the news. Plus iGanda didn’t really have the same ring to it.”
On a campaign to bring the B-side back, the track is backed by the more mellow and reflective: “Salt Your Wounds”; a collaboration with Jazzie Sirius who helped orchestrate the lush, languid Eastern textures that accompany Longy’s wrought vocal. Whatever happened to the B-side?
“There was a time when you couldn’t wait to listen to the b-side of a new single a band or artist had just put out.” says Longy. “It could have been anything, a remix of the single, an instrumental, a Chemical Brothers remix, an acoustic story song, an acoustic version of the single, do we worry more about making everything perfect when maybe life also needs the imperfections too. Let’s Take Rod Stewart and the DJ in Milwaukee who decided to flip the a-side and introduce the world to Maggie May.”
The lead single, “iMerica”, is also confirmed to feature on a brand new six-track EP, earmarked for release on 4th July 2021. As politically on the pulse as this A side single, Longy’s upcoming EP will cover the grounds of a class system, mental health, the fall-out of Black Lives Matter and more, with an overall message of hope and belief that things can still change for the better.
Hailing from the seaside town of Southend-on-Sea in Essex, LONGY is a storyteller hard on endurance. Appearing out of nowhere at the end of 2013, the artist whipped up a frenzy of rumour, intrigue and praise in equal measure. With accolades such as being awarded Demo of the Year (XFM London) for his self released debut EP, filling Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen on a Tuesday night during the tube strike and even being coined as ‘the next Rolling Stones’ by the cream of the British press, Longy knows how to get people talking.
From playing 500 shows in a year, to breaking his back, to carnage in Barcelona, band brawls, tour shambles and fights with promoters, Longy’s career has been anything but uneventful.
His music has taken him all over the world, where a growing list of admirers are catching on. Notable live highlights have included blistering festival performances at the likes of Glastonbury (of which he was once rumoured to headline…), Secret Garden Party and a mainstage performance at Village Green Festival, where LONGY brought on a marching drum band and a 25-piece gospel choir. Elsewhere, tours of the US and South Africa have put Longy on the international stage, whilst insane fixtures back in London, including supporting The Who at Hyde Park and a chaotic headline set at Dingwalls have proven his gritty substance.
With a gut wrenching sound dubbed ‘Gospel Trash’, it is characterised by a heavy beat, big guitars, and a wall of keys and trumpet. Mixed in with cinematic lyrics, his sound mashes genres such as classical and jazz, hip hop with renaissance, rock and rhyme. You can hear a range of influences throughout his work, ranging from Damien Rice, Bruce Springsteen, Buddy Holly, Nina Simone and Sam Cooke to Charles Bukowski. The result makes for soulful and authentic tunes that remind us of the human aspect of being alive, connecting with people, and submerging yourself in your passions, touching all who listen with their sincerity.
A prolific artist who is always writing and producing, Longy cut his studio teeth in 2012 with the independently released EPs ‘Bringing It All Back Home to You Now’ and ‘Trash Talking Filthy Love’. Later releases have since seen Longy join forces with Chris Hayden from Florence and the Machine, who produced his ambitious ‘The iLLUSIONIST’ EP in 2018 and its follow-up single ‘Akecheta’ in 2019.
Honing his studio output since then, Longy has been working alongside the esteemed Michael Collins (Slaves, Pete Doherty) at Big Jelly Studios and is now in the process of mapping out a wealth of new material; all expected for release over the next 3 years. With 3 EPs and “project 12” in the can, Longy is already looking as far as 2023 where he hopes to release a body of work called ‘All Roads Lead To 528’.
But in the here and now, Longy releases his latest single “iMerica” // “Salt In The Wound”; two tracks that couldn’t capture his gospel / trash sound and unique ethos more adeptly. Proof of an artist with plenty left to say and hitting new creative heights, “iMerica” sets the stage for a much anticipated new EP later this Summer.