November 14, 2017
Sounds Like: K.T. Tunstall, Sheryl Crow, Little Big Town's Karen Fairchild on a confessional girls' night out
For Fans of: Dreamy, glinting tunes anchored by introspective, heart-worn lyrics
Why You Should Pay Attention: In 2013, Williams was spotlighted in the "Playing for Change" version of Maroon 5's "Daylight" video, but her greatest showcase was Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade, where she has performed acoustically for the last several years, selling a staggering 100,000 copies of her three indie albums. Among her customers: Oscar-winning director Ron Howard and singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow, whom she counts as a major influence. Boomerang, her debut LP for Blue Élan Records, offers an impressive array of soundscapes but still manages to keep things refreshingly simple and honest. Highlights include the swirling big-top-inspired instrumentation on "Anything Worth Saving" and "Lonely Girl," in which Williams recounts a 26-year run of lonely tears "for my string of darling dears." Resolute loneliness has rarely sounded this desirable.
She Says: "Writing has always been an organic creative process for me. I think the best songs write themselves if you can just manage to get out of the way. That's why I really wanted to keep the Boomerang sound pallet pretty organic and natural. In an era of synth pop and sample-driven music, I strove to make this record as human as possible. The closest thing to a sample on the record is the Mellotron on 'Lonely Girl.'"
Hear for Yourself: "Lonely Girl" sports a whistling intro fit for a spaghetti Western and a swirling rockabilly vibe boosted by Williams' killer voice. S.B.