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Relations

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Editors’ Notes

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.

Biography

Born: 1974 in Liverpool, England

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '00s, '10s

British singer/songwriter Kathryn Williams began her career in 1999 with the release of Dog Leap Stairs, a beguiling set of low-key folk songs that drew comparisons to the hushed musings of Nick Drake. A native of Liverpool, Williams relocated to Newcastle to pursue a fine art degree, emerging somewhat unexpectedly with a promising musical career when her second album, 2000's Little Black Numbers, was nominated for Britain's prestigious Mercury Prize. More expansive than her debut, yet still winsomely...
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Relations, Kathryn Williams
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