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Nymphs & Thugs release new album from Stephen James Smith

Stephen James Smith. Credit: Babs Daly Grace

Nymphs and Thugs, the UK’s leading spoken word record label, have returned with a new release – a debut album from poet Stephen James Smith, ‘See No Evil’.

The 9-track album was recorded during lockdown in County Wexford, after Stephen found himself moving there from Dublin during the pandemic. This presented the opportunity to work with Gavin Glass in Orphan Recording Studios. Stephen was awarded the Music Industry Stimulus Package under the Recording Stimulus fund to help with the making of the album.

The album was released on April 1st in partnership with ‘Nymphs & Thugs’, a label run by TSOTA columnist and leading spoken word figure Matt Abbott.

Credit: Babs Daly Grace

“This album is a culmination of years of work and a chance meeting,” says Stephen. “I was never really sure what ‘sound’ I wanted to have underscore my poetry, I have so many influences from trad, folk and hip-hop and then I met Gareth [Quinn Redmond, the album’s producer], instantly we had a bond and he ‘got’ what I was trying to do. I’m a bit more restrained in my performance than I ordinarily would be on this album, but Gareth’s music helps to bring the emotional intensity I would aim for as a solo performer, so the opportunity to collaborate on a longer form project like this was just brilliant, I learned so much and I’m happy with what we created.

“In some ways I care how this is received, what we’ve done means a lot to me, but in others I couldn’t care less, we did what we set out to do and now it’s up to the album to find it’s way in the world.” 

Stephen will be touring his new album in the UK, playing a host of dates that can be found here.


Listen to the album via Bandcamp; make sure you catch Stephen when he plays in the North!

19th May – Carole Nash Hall, Stoller Hall, Manchester

21st May – Thorner Victory Hall, Leeds