Nostalgia 77 is the pseudonym for producer Ben Lamdin, who makes a strain of chilled-out music that falls somewhere between jazzy and bluesy, breezy and severe. His newest album, The Sleepwalking Society, is his fourth LP and will be released March 22 via Tru Thoughts. He teamed up with a German singer named Josa Peit to make songs that we aren’t willing to classify as jazz, but we can’t help but call them jazzy.
The track “Cherry” presents the dichotomy. It’s a deceptively simple song—a soft string and guitar line over Peit’s cooed, studied vocals—and by all accounts shouldn’t fit with the idea of jazz. It’s closer to French pop several decades ago, and as the song gradually rises in complexity with the addition of more strings, it becomes apparent that this is chamber pop, not jazz. “Cherry” sidesteps many of the mistakes that a lot of this downtempo music makes, most notably the stagnancy of it. This is a living song, and as the strings caress Peit’s soulful vocals, there is tension. Through that tension, the song becomes a feeling, which can be described as the second after the catch in your throat when you see your ex-lover. It’s wistful and secretly cynical.
Download Nostalgia 77’s track “Cherry” here, and stream it below.