Album Heart Song due out on 4 November via Brutal Honest
Shares full album stream for “Heart Song” via Nylon
Announces December European dates with Marissa Nadler
Streams “White Bed” via ELLE
Listen to “White Bed” here (feel free to share!)
Photo by Mikaylah Bowman
European Tour Dates:
Thu 8 Dec – Rome – Na Cosetta
Fri 9 Dec – Avellino – Rainy Days Festival
Thu 15 Dec 2016 Fluc Vienna, Austria*
Sat 17 Dec 2016 A38 Budapest, Hungary*
Sun 18 Dec 2016 Kino Šiška (Centre for Urban Culture), Ljubljana, Slovenia*
Mon 19 Dec 2016 Culture Factory, Zagreb, Croatia*
Tue 20 Dec 2016 Bronson, Ravenna, Italy*
Wed 21 Dec 2016 Santeria Social Club, Milan, Italy*
* With Marissa Nadler
Austin singer-songwriter Jess Williamson is set to release her second album Heart Song on Friday, 4th Nov via Brutal Honest. This week has seen her announce European dates with Marissa Nadler, share the track “White Bed” via Elle and stream the full album via Nylon.
Elle said of the track “White Bed”; “Jess Williamson somehow manages to infuse every note with the feeling of driving down a dusty Texas road. Her songs are as expansive as the open range; her voice is simultaneously earthy and seems headed for the stars.” While Nylon wrote; “Her bracing sophomore record… sees Williamson mapping out her emotions as if she’s trying to discover the place where they originated.”
Praise for Heart Song
“A voice in the vicinity of Cat Power or Karen Dalton, intimate and husky, as if lit by candlelight.” Mojo 4*s
“Bare-boned country-gothic confessionals full of ruined romance, self-lacerating depression and regret.” Uncut
“In turns stark and musically lush, hugely imaginative and yet entirely direct, the record seems to effortlessly move past her debut.” CLASH
“Chilling, endearing folk that both soothes and unsettles the soul.” London in Stereo
“Jess Williamson has a voice that deserves to be heard and appreciated, it’s full of bluesy soulfulness that’s capable of moving effortlessly between tender embrace and tortured soul.” Contact Music
Jess Williamson’s Heart Song is a brave record. It explores the strength in vulnerability, the power in silence and empty space. The recordings bristle with energy and confidence while maintaining the intense intimacy Williamson is known for. Like the visceral desert landscape that inspires her, she knows when to let her vocals drift across the song, light like a tumbleweed, and when to, like the fiercest of Texas storms, unleash thunder and lightning with her band.
A few years back, Jess Williamson returned home to her native Texas to reconsider everything and rethink the direction of her life. It was that about-face that gave her the security and solitude, the inspiration, needed to create 2014’s highly acclaimed debut album, Native State.
But that was two years ago.
Williamson’s second album, Heart Song, questions the structures of support inherent in the comforts of home and showcases the rare kind of artistry that is the hardest to achieve after early success: change.
The opening song, “Say It”, eases the listener into a groove before the song cracks open and floods the landscape with squall and noise and thunder; announcing that Heart Song is not the same album as it’s predecessor, that this work is not only the next logical step in Williamson’s evolution, it is also a leap forward for her as an artist.
On the album’s centrepiece and title track Williamson wonders aloud, “Will I grow into my body?” but no one listening to her music, her poetry, will doubt her growth.
Is freedom really nothing left to lose?
Is freedom something that I have?
Something that I have, with you?
You’ve got the phases of the moon to blame
But I am a slave to a part of my heart
Nameless and untamed,
The seventh and final song, “Devil’s Girl,” closes out the album with a step back, just close vocals and quiet guitar, and we are reminded again of the essence of what makes Williamson such a phenomenal artist: her ability to tap into the universal. “Yesterday I was on the phone with a woman with my mother’s name/ Offering to meet me halfway between here and St. Louis /And I saw again the intimacy that comes between/ Strangers with stakes in the same crisis”. The song is a meditation and a restorative close to an extraordinary album.
Heart Song was recorded direct to tape in Austin, TX by Erik Wofford (The Black Angels, Bill Callahan) at Cacophany Studios and by the band in Jess’s house. It was mixed by Larry Crane (Elliott Smith, Sleater-Kinney, Cat Power) at Jackpot Recording in Portland, OR. The album is out on 4 November on Williamson’s own imprint, Brutal Honest, and is distributed worldwide via Kartel.
Heart Song Tracklist:
1. “Say It”
2. “White Bed”
3. “Heart Song”
4. “Snake Song”
5. “See You In A Dream”
6. “Last Word”
7. “Devil’s Girl”
Watch video for “See You In A Dream”