Kathryn Williams - Old Low Light

If like me you find the public humiliation of Pop Idols, Pop Stars and now Fame Academy cruel and unnecessary as well as the tiresome process of auditions to pop groups tedious, you'll understand my delight at the simplicity of the singer songwriter. There's something wonderfully organic about someone putting their thoughts, views and imagination into songs using the simplicity of basic instrumentation and a sole voice. Somebody who fits snugly into this category is Mercury Music Prize nominated artist Kathryn Williams.

Following up from the acclaim of such a nomination is Williams' "Old Low Light" album. This her third album explores themes of an adult and personal nature, which would be an alien concept to fans of Holly Valance. It's a brave move expressing such issues in such an honest and baring her soul for the world to see. The melancholy of the piano interludes and the seductively sung lyrics make this subtle slow burner of a song simply breathtaking. I am of course referring to the wondrous "Mirrorball". You can really feel for Kathryn so deeply when she sings "I was searching for something to find". It's complimented beautifully by the emotive playing of the acoustic guitar and linger long after the final note has been played.

"Daydream And Saunter" is a jazzy orchestral number complete with haunting flugel horn and trumpets. Seemingly a sad tale of a former relationship where it's all too apparent that the emotional scars took a long time to heal. The man whom Kathryn had her first sexual experience with is the inspiration being the creepy "Wolf". The lyrics suggest that the man in question was a shadowy predator who stalked his prey and is the eeriest and most unsettling song on the album. But it's not all doom and gloom as "No One Takes You Home" is a humorous and jaunty song full of luscious harmonies and an infectiously catchy chorus with a feminist angle reminiscent of the late great Kirsty MacCol.

With such a fine body of work behind her and growing confidence as a performer, Williams has achieved so much at such a young age. And with her latest album "Old Low Light" she has produced her best album to date.

Nicholas Paul Godkin

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