Quality folksy fare. Angsty, and almost certainly bearded at every turn.
From Indiana, then (as many do) to Austin. Finally to our ears, carried by the perennial muse of relationships fading and new ones forming. Williams’ stock in trade is a fierce, folksy, acoustic yet richly textured vibe. His vocal style is a little unusual, some of his vowel sounds are somewhat eccentric, but that’s perhaps this reviewer being a little nit-picky. There’s a lot to enjoy here. Long-time alt heroes Band of Heathens assist Williams as his studio musicians, and they more than accompany – they stretch the soundscape wider than wide and make to the big, almost anthemic choruses ring out.
Opener ‘Foolish Reminder’ isn’t one of the boldest tracks. A gentle-ish start, it fits thematically but doesn’t herald the collection with a fanfare. Next along ‘I Hope You Do’ does a much better job. It’s sprightly, buoyed by romance, angst and driving guitar/drums. ‘Throw It At The World’ starts with some wobbly, spooky organ. It has probably the best of the ‘big choruses’ within the eight tracks. ‘Begin Again’ is very poppy and radio-friendly – a summery hazy vibe. ‘One Fell Swoop’ closes the collection. It’s broody and contemplative, guitars, piano and drums rolling away over the horizon, rumbling and calling out to us as they depart.
If we’re to be hyper-critical, we could say that there’s no new ground being covered by Williams anywhere on this record. However, it’s rich in texture and arrangement, plus Williams carries emotion and feeling vividly through his voice. If folksy Americana is your thing, then this record should also be your thing.