Here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today, we’ve been listening to the latest single from Simple Sessions. Their version of Nakamarra (Hiatus Kaiyote) was released on 14th April 2023.
Simple Sessions are Mila Lee (vocals), Alex Hogg (guitar), Jon Melville (keys), Richard Hammond (bass), and Steve Hanley (drums). The band is a collaborative project featuring various musicians, mostly from in and around the Leeds/Yorkshire area in the UK.
Nakamarra is an experimental neo-soul track that Simple Sessions have kept fairly close to the original version. There is some truly expert musicianship in this group, and we were highly impressed with every member’s skillset. Simple Sessions are more of a recording project than a live project, but we would dearly love to see them performing live, and creating their own music.
You would be hard-pressed to find a way to improve the mix of this track. Each musician knows exactly what their role is within the track, and every instrument is sitting uniquely in its own area of the audio spectrum. The kick drum is nice and low with no bite, while the snare and hi-hats are bright and punchy. The piano sits in the low mids, the guitar in the upper mids and the bass lays a thick, full and chunky groove.
The guitar and piano bounce perfectly off of each other, with the strums perfectly timed to the piano. Meanwhile, the piano occasionally pulls off some masterful moments that sit gently in the background without dominating. Each member of the band fits perfectly.
Vocally, Mila’s voice reminded us a little of Nelly Furtado or Natasha Bedingfield. It had moments where it felt like a very gentle version of Amy Winehouse. The vocals are produced at the front of the mouth, with an almost lazy approach to pronunciation which works absolutely perfectly for this laid-back track. Mila makes great use of “scooping” and messing with bending pitches to give a truly world-class performance that appears completely effortless.
We are blown away by the musicianship and quality sound of the Simple Sessions and are enthusiastically looking forward to hearing more music from this talented British collective.