This week sees the release of the Josette Joseph remix of Ego Ella May’s ‘How Long 'Til We’re Home’ from the album ‘Honey for Wounds’ released earlier this year. With a well chimed feature from Lex Amor this re-work was a very wise idea. Whilst the original certainly received its praises in the highest circles, re-imagining such a sparse track was something that I almost wish I’d done myself. The song’s message, which is admittedly despairing, is in this new context less pleading and more assuredly determined to make the point - we need a resolution to this bullshit.
Josette’s remix is refreshing, albeit more melancholic. The major chords of the original are substituted for a feeling of un-resolve, the timbre of the piano sound is so dry and left pedal that one could dare assume it was a real piano. The bass line manages to provide a necessary groove without detracting from the sombre mood. The pitch and reverb manipulation of the background vocals add an ethereal lilt, and the simplistic but defined strings aid contemplative listening. Ego Ella May’s trademarks are enduring vocal melodies married with never shying away from painful truths. She endures society’s venom with as much strength as it is inflicted (MLK), as does final lap feature Lex Amor.
Technique is just a means of arriving at a statement (MLK), and Lex Amor often says as much in her tone as in her bars. To read the lyrics of her feature is to read a classic poem unpublished. She cites an “unsettling lack of deference” and how right she is. Grace is a malnourished myth in 2020, and whilst Lex is an eternal enigma to many of us, on closer inspection you will find a Blake or Giovanni in the making, able to add pitch-less melody to the cold and the concrete.
To conclude, the true accolade belongs to Josette, who has managed to not just flip this piece, but produce another original. Hats truly off.