The album was recorded in just four days with no more than three takes for any one track. “None of the musicians had heard the songs,” she explains, “but I had sent them the lyrics. I wanted the musicians to play it without trying to emulate demos, to create a newness, a blindness and a trust.”
With that in mind it is clear that the album evolved like invisible ink on a page splashed with water. Slowly the songs emerged, radiating a freshness and honesty as each one grabbed hold of life.
Kathryn’s delicate vocals disguise the darker clouds that can exist within her work. Uncompromising in her writing this album delivers a set that has the rain clouds gathering above. It opens with the superb “50 White Lines” a song of the hypnotic loneliness of the road.
The aforementioned “Just A Feeling” explains something of Kathryn’s music in its opening line as Kathryn breathes “sad songs don’t sound so sad in the sun.” It shows how I was misled lying there in the glow of a summers day.
Sure enough, rain clouds gather in the richly flavoured “Winter Is Sharp”. Meanwhile, a delightfully delicate “Wanting And Waiting” leads to the poignant “Black Oil.” “Just Leave” captures the tangibly solid void that can develop between two people.
A hauntingly perfect stripped down opening for “Smoke” creates an atmosphere that is exactly what the title says. The late night reflection of “Cream Of The Crop” leads to the strange landscape created within “There Are Keys.”
Deceptively powerful lyrics set within delicate, sometimes fragile frames. “Noble Guesses” arrives with a positive air introducing (I hope I’m right) Russian inventor Dmitri Mendeleev, who “was sick of trying” until Kathryn reveals with an inspiring positivity that “dreams are where inventions sleep.”
“Little Lesson” and “Up North” complete the highly satisfying picture. Yes, "sad songs don’t sound so sad in the sun,” and as I play this late at night after, let us say a challenging day, the album evolved into something far more complex.
That is the secret mystery within the craft of the gifted Kathryn Williams, and this album is perhaps her best example of it yet.
More details can be found on Kathryn's official website.