Somewhere between the spaces occupied by songwriters lies a sound that’s not ordinarily exploited amongst tried and tested musical design. This is where British singer-songwriter, Lloyd Williams, finds his niche.
Invoking familiar folk nuances and rousing lyrical finesse, Williams’s sound strikes parallels with contemporaries such as Iron & Wine and Bon Iver. Keeping his instrumentation simple and his vocal sheer, he possesses a raw ability to elicit a gentle melancholy within his sound and pin-sharp performance. The result is a glassy tenderness that effortlessly rides on the back of a powerful, fundamental live delivery.
Brighton-born Williams’s unique guitar and banjo skills are what set him apart from conventional songwriters. Influenced by the surrounds of coastal Southeast England, his musical accents feature unique open tunings and laterally percussive banjo characterisations. It’s this straightforward but provocatively honest formula that retains resonance of an ever-present folk heartbeat.
In between support slots for artists such as Bob Dylan and The Magic Numbers, gaining a sturdy following in Europe, touring India and Nepal, Williams met his producer, John Wood. Responsible for immortalising the sound of Nick Drake, John Martyn and Fairport Convention, Wood’s subsequent recording collaboration with Williams is fitting.
With Wood on board producing 2013’s debut, Time, and his upcoming album,
Williams’s chose to record exclusively analogue. Between Brighton’s Retreat Studios and Nuremburg’s Ghost City Recording, the traditional recording methods serve as testament to his grass roots, physical approach to music. “There’s a certain warmth to using analogue, and a certain honesty to it…” he says; “And there’s a certain limitation to it too. It makes you really defined on your decision-making, and sometimes it’s the mistakes which make something really beautiful.”
His upcoming album, epitomises Williams’s fresh and consummate sound. Contributions from Warren Ellis on violin add additional layers to the music’s overall composition. Together with his penetrating ability to seize the frailties – and severities – of human emotion, his performances establish Williams as possibly one of the most original folk artists to recently emerge.