The release of Lady Wray‘s sophomore album Piece of Me is right around the bend on January 28. Today, we’re sharing a live performance of the title track, which was captured at the analog-centric Queens, NY studio the Diamond Mine Studios. Wray is already known for her raw, soul-baring vocals, but this performance emphasizes the texture in her voice. She hones in on the soulful magnetism of Diamond Mine, where many greats have recorded before her. Her voice breaks a bit as she reflects upon simpler times, forcing herself to hide the memories: “Remember when it was simple then?” This live performance reveals the dynamism of Wray’s vocals, showcasing her ability to conjure palpable emotion.
The longing seeped in her vocals mirrors the nostalgia of Wray’s setting. “It felt like I was back in time, like the ’70s because of all vintage music equipment and the recording room had that old tape machine,” she says remembering her first time at Diamond Mine. “A big plus was the room that I got to record in had the old school microphone that looked like Frank Sinatra sang on it. Just fun and amazing sound that comes out of that place. Leon Michels and the crew always come with that amazing sound. I’ve had the pleasure to record where the late great Charles Bradley recorded and made most of his hits. The incomparable Lee Fields recorded there, and it wouldn’t be a real session without Jens [Jungkurth] behind the boards.”
Wray is accompanied here with multi-instrumentalist and producer Leon Michels on flute, Homer Steinweiss on drums, Nick Movshon on bass, Marco Benevento on piano, and Dylan Nowik on guitar. Wray adds: “The music was flowing, there was laughter, and a funky good time. I also recorded my album Queen Alone there, such great memories. Every time I’m at the Diamond Mine it’s magic being made and I’m blessed to have such amazing and talented people I like to call brothers that got my back.”
Watch the performance below.