It happens often: you fall in love with a band or artist at first listen and, then, you find out they split up or, even worse, passed away. With A.A. Williams, the tragedy was much smaller in magnitude: just her debut EP was long gone on Bandcamp. A.A. Williams is a young songwriter from London, who released in the beginning of 2019 her first eponymous work on Holy Roar Records — a label with some known names on its roster, like OHHMS, and which published a few things for bands such as Conan and Full Of Hell.
A.A. Williams is made of four tracks, filled with layered elements that may remind you of some other dark, female songwriters, while still having a strong personality of their own. In this EP, everything — except for drums and bass guitar — has been recorded by the artist herself in her kitchen, reinforcing the link between music and Williams‘ sensibility: a perfect balance between intimity and intensity in which everything adds something to the final result, last but not least the empty spaces, which seem to fill the air more than any possible riff. The songs’ structures are similar and spot-on, a generalised melancholy made of acoustic guitars and strings which resolve in emotive explosions, with a post-rock/shoegaze vein in them.
A.A. Williams strong suit is exactly this, to be heavy at an intimate level more than just in terms of sound, as in “Control” and “Cold”, with its bluesy arpeggio. On top of her contract with Holy Roar, which accustomed us to other kind of sounds, it’s not a coincidence that Williams, for her absolute live debut, has been invited by the prestigious Roadburn Festival in 2019, founding herself among that group of “crossover” artists able to attract a diverse set of listeners.
Albeit being played live with a full band, it’s easy to imagine these pieces played as a solo perfomance, without other musicians. This idea becomes stronger after listening to the bonus tracks included in the (beautiful) album’s reissue, out last summer and helping yours truly after the aforementioned tragedy, containing some stripped down, rehearsal recordings of three songs plus the classic Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” cover. With a debut like this, we can’t help but expect huge things for the future.