Track Of The Day: A.A. Williams – ‘The Echo’

A heavy lament that explores the push-and-pull relationship between the heart and the head, London-based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist A.A. Williams has shared her latest single ‘The Echo’. Taken from her upcoming second album, As The Moon Rests, which is set for release on 7th October via Bella Union, the track is a powerful blend of Williams’ bittersweet vocals and trademark cathartic drop ins.

“’The Echo’ is a dialogue between a person’s heart and the head,” Williams explains about her new single. “the head [is] trying to persuade the heart that what they need is to take time for themselves and prioritise their own well-being, not seek verification of one’s worth through their relationships with others.”

Originally named ‘Forever Blue’ – which is also the title of her debut album – Williams’ has re-worked ‘The Echo’ into a song of “yearning, sorrow and beauty.” These sentiments are reflected in the track’s accompanying video, directed by Fraser West. The visuals follow a young man on his journey through London during the night, encountering strangers and seeking connection in unexpected places.

Following on from her previous singles ‘Evaporate’ and ‘Golden’, ‘The Echo’ continues to spotlight Williams’ intuitive talent for creating captivating, enthralling music. She will be performing tracks from her upcoming album As The Moon Rests with her band and a full string quartet at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall this Saturday (17th September). You can grab a ticket here.

Watch the video for ‘The Echo’ below.

A.A. Williams’ UK Tour Dates 2022
Saturday 17th September – London – Queen Elizabeth Hall
Saturday 12th November – Glasgow – The Great Eastern
Sunday 13th November – Leeds – Brudenell Social Club
Monday 14th November – Milton Keynes – Craufurd Arms
Tuesday 15th November – Birmingham – Hare & Hounds
Wednesday 16th November – Cardiff – Clwb Ifor Bach
Thursday 17th November – Falmouth – The Cornish Bank
Friday 18th November – Bristol – Thekla

Follow A.A. Williams on bandcampSpotifyInstagramTwitter & Facebook

Photo Credit: Thomas Williams

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: New Pagans – ‘Better People’

A racing, euphoric guitar anthem that encourages listeners to smile in the face of adversity, Belfast-based band New Pagans have shared their latest single ‘Better People’. Underscored by the group’s desire to write an uplifting, hopeful offering in the midst of a difficult and chaotic time, the track is an empowering blend of cathartic vocals, soaring riffs and commanding beats.

Far removed from the righteous fury of the songs that formed their debut album, The Seed, The Vessel, The Roots and All (2021), but still brimming with a strong social conscience, ‘Better People’ is New Pagans’ ode to pushing through collective doubt. The band urge listeners not to lose faith in the idea that there is better quality of life on the horizon. “Fix it when we do it wrong / working together makes us strong,” sings lyricist Lyndsey Mcdougall, her startling, clear vocals soaring above the band’s urgent, melodic efforts to drive home the message that we’re stronger when we work together.

Written during a period of lockdown at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, ‘Better People’ was inspired by the time Lyndsey spent listening to, and celebrating the joy of music with her children. This propelled the songwriter and her band mates to write a track that leaned more towards resilience and hope, and the result was ‘Better People’. Recorded and self-produced by the band in the Glens of Antrim in Ireland, and mixed by Sam Petts Davis (Radiohead, Warpaint, Frank Ocean), ‘Better People’ is an exhilarating aural antidote to persistent uncertainty in an increasingly stressful world.

Listen to ‘Better People’ below.

 

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Photo Credit: Billy Woods

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: O Hell – ‘I Watch The Women’

A twitchy electronic soundscape that explores the personal confines of imposed femininity, Brighton-based artist and producer Lucy Sheehan aka O Hell has shared their latest single, ‘I Watch The Women’. The follow up to previous releases ‘Down’ and ‘Untangle’, the new track is underscored by a quiet agitation, released via atmospheric synths, crystalline beats and hushed vocals.

After years spent touring and recording music in alternative bands around the UK and fronting PROJECTOR, Sheehan has ventured into fresh sonic territory under their new moniker O Hell. Influenced by a love of eclectic, brooding soundscapes and a desire for creative independence, Sheehan continues to explore their new sound further on ‘I Watch The Women’, deconstructing their notion of femininity and reassessing the personal toll this process can take.

“‘I Watch The Women’ is about feeling distanced from your femininity: being drawn to it and wishing you embodied the classic vision of womanhood, but sensing you’re on another side of it,” Sheehan explains. “The first lines came from a moment I recall, standing across the street from a nice cafe, the women outside looked so polished, real, womanly. I felt like a girl, or something else?’

I wrote it while living mostly in a cabin last winter, quite isolated, picking at drum patterns. I think that feeling of abstraction, even alien-ness, guided the lyrics and delivery towards being off-kilter, almost at odds with the outside world, even the language itself. Later I spent a long time with George Godwin (Moon Panda, Zooni) exploring weird textures, re-amping, tape delays etc to find the track’s atmosphere. Then at Christmas, he handed me a tape of a mix he’d done, to tape, and it was perfect.”

Accompanied by a video, shot by Godwin and directed by Sheehan, the visuals show O Hell traversing the stairwells of a block of flats, reflecting the tumultuous inner journey that’s explored in the track’s lyrics.

Check out the video for ‘I Watch The Women’ below.

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Photo Credit: Annie Dorrett

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Coco – ‘Rough Water’

Formed in 2019, Coco is a collaborative project consisting of Maia Friedman (The Dirty Projectors), Dan Molad (Lucius), and Oliver Hill (Pavo Pavo), and ‘Rough Water‘ is the first new single since their self-titled debut album last year. Recorded in Joshua Tree, California, this new offering is a departure from the dream-pop sounds on the debut, delivering an epic, rockier sound of guitars and drums.

I felt immediately lifted when hearing the song, bringing to mind the energetic and enigmatic sounds of the likes of The Pixies and The B-52’s. Maia’s celestial vocals are in perfect harmony with the others’, as the trio urge us to “be a mirror”, before the pace briefly changes midway – oozing a reflective inner voice. The song ends on a chant to personal demons or talismans, uplifting our spirits like a “phoenix in the wreckage”; empowering us to steer our own ships. Coco is perfect synergy, the sum of their parts carrying us on a delightful trip with blissful allure. 

Of the track, the band explain:

The open space out there really lends itself to loud music… It brings about a desire to shout into the emptiness. The lyrics are partly a love letter to the angry spirits and partly a self-entreaty to inhale and relish in the chaos of life.” 

‘Rough Water’ is out now via First City Artists. Next month, Coco head out on a US national tour, supporting Kevin Morby, and will be headlining shows on the West Coast later this year.

Fi Ni Aicead
@gotnomoniker