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Kathryn Williams

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This British singer-songwriter has amassed quite a career, with albums of splendid songwriting and textures that evoke both the future and the distant past. Relations is a collection of covers that allows her voice to work as pure expression. Neil Young’s “Birds,” Alex Chilton’s “Thirteen,” Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” Lou Reed’s “Candy Says,” and Jackson Browne’s “These Days,” for starters, are an A-list of songs and songwriters that sound perfectly natural with acoustic guitars and cellos adding sparse but brilliant support. It’s nearly impossible to hurt these songs and Williams adds new dimensions with her beautiful sympathies. Kurt Cobain’s “All Apologies” loses its bitter snarl for an endearing innocence. Tim Hardin’s “How Can We Hang On to a Dream” couldn’t be done better. Roger McGuinn’s “The Ballad of Easy Rider” sounds like it’s being brought back to Sandy Denny and Fairport Convention. The Bee Gees’ “I Started a Joke” is wonderfully stripped down. Pavement’s “Spit On a Stranger” is suddenly a folk song. Absolutely stunning.


Born: 1974 in Liverpool, England

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Often compared to Joni Mitchell and Nick Drake — quite favorably, no less — singer/songwriter Kathryn Williams was born in Liverpool in 1974. Her father was a folksinger and, as a child, Williams studied piano and guitar while listening to such '60s icons as Bob Dylan. Later, while attending art college in Newcastle, her songwriting prowess began to outpace her dexterity with a paintbrush. She began writing songs in private, citing a diverse array of influences...
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Relations, Kathryn Williams
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