A.A. Williams: arco (Bella Union) | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Tuesday, December 7th, 2021  

A.A. Williams


Bella Union

Oct 21, 2021 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Essentially via word of mouth, A.A. Williams managed to sell out the iconic Southbank Centre in London within a year of her first live performance. And after one sumptuous self-titled debut EP, she was snapped up by Bella Union who last year released her glorious full-length debut album, Forever Blue.

During 2020 and much of 2021 COVID restrictions meant that live performances were an indistinct dot on a future horizon, but the classically trained multi-instrumentalist didn’t sit on her laurels, instead she released an album of covers, the appropriately titled Songs of Isolation. On it Williams reimagines classic songs, (many suggested by fans) quite beautifully (including songs by The Cure, Pixies, Smashing Pumpkins, Nick Cave, Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, and more), often stripping these classics down to a basic elemental level and in doing so revealing the spirit and the emotion at the core of each track.

Her arco EP does something similar, but this time with her own songs. Williams skillfully reworks her debut EP minus the dark rock band sound but with the addition of a full string ensemble. By doing so she puts her remarkable voice front and center and whilst fans of the originals will still be moved by the sheer beauty and artistry of the songs, there’s also an added atmosphere of sumptuous elegance on display. Take tracks such as “Control” or “Terrible Friends,” where the lush strings add a layer of grandiose widescreen menace whilst the breathtaking allure of Williams’ phenomenal voice is given the space to cast its spell.

With arco Williams demonstrates that sometimes less can be more and this is an EP which will surely further cement the view that she is a remarkable and innovative talent who very much dances to her own tune. (www.aawilliamsmusic.com)

Author rating: 8/10

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