JUNE 16TH, 2010
The BCFM Sunday Rockshow Listeners Group (BRISTOL, UK)
Erinn Williams - 'Summertime Songs'
By, Jon Wisbey.......
One of the most incredible musical experiences of my many years of gig going happened a few months ago. Now over the years I've seen Judas Priest tour 'British Steel', saw XTC when they still gigged; I was at the last show Queen did with Freddy and witnessed the now legendary 'Chronicle of The Black Sword' tour with the mighty Hawkwind. But I would never in a month of Sundays ever think that one of the most moving and spiritual experiences would come one rainy Saturday night in a small room over a pub in an often overlooked part of Bristol. But it happened. I went down to a place called The Spring Gardens to have a few beers with a couple of mates and say 'happy birthday' to my mate Ken Pustelnik (he of the Groundhogs fame). And that was when I first discovered the power of the music of Erinn Williams.
She walked shyly on stage, looking every inch the perfect Californian hippy chick and for the next 40 minutes held that room spell bound. Her songs were simple folky tales, sang in a voice of ethereal beauty with minimalist accompaniment, a simple guitar lick, a simple percussion loop, a glockenspiel. Every song was performed to perfect silence as every backside perched on the edge of their seats and the audience soaked up every word and note. Then at the end of each number there was a few seconds stunned silence as the gathered regained their breath. Never before had I experienced such a performance. It left me with a lump in my throat the size of Yorkshire slag heap and the feeling that this lady had been speaking to my very soul. so naturally I went and obtained an album.
And what an album. Every perfect note and inflection of that live performance has been reproduced on this record. For a start Erinn's vocals have a strange siren like distant spacey quality that not only tingle the spine, but slides into your very psyche and soothes out the wrinkles with tender caresses. Her lyrics are tales of whimsy, haunting ethereal fairy tales for grown ups, that don't gloss over the darker side with out ever loosing the musics spaciness.
Highlights? This album is one long highlight, I have a new favourate cut everytime I put it on, today it's the deliciously dark 'Wedding song', Yesterday it was 'I Think you See Me' with its plaintive tale of unrequited love. In short I love this album, not just like it a lot but really love it. This record moves me like nothing else has ever done before I really have developed an emotional attachment to it. It makes me laugh, it makes cry, it calms me down when I'm wound up; and if that's not love I dunno what is.
So please, do yourselves a favour and check out this record, and its companion volume of wintry tracks (a review of which will be up as soon as I get hold of a copy), and I hope you fall in love with it as well.
Read more: http://www.myspace.com/erinn/blog#ixzz0yvGcBDl5
- Review: Erinn Williams, Cumberland Arms, Byker
- Mar 14 2008
- by Gary Beckwith, Evening Chronicle
- WEDNESDAY night saw Los Angeles alternative pop songstress Erinn Williams sail into Newcastle for her European tour on the back of the stormy weather we’ve been experiencing.
Promoting her latest sublime album, Digging In the Dirt, the singer-songwriter with a background in opera played a flawless set to an appreciative Cumberland Arms crowd.
The night, hosted by North East promoters The Killing Suite, was one of the most laidback and enjoyable gigs I’ve been to in a long time.
With excellent support from Northumberland-born Paul Jeans, aka Jeans goes Pop!, and Manchester’s latest indie-pop outfit The 1,2,3,4s, the night effortlessly glided along to Montana-born Erinn’s lilting vocals.
Her acoustic guitar was complemented by a range of electronic wizardry.
Williams’ latest album has been described as being like every angst-ridden teenage girl’s diary.
Unrequited love, stolen moments, loneliness and pain are the running themes. As forlorn and melancholic as that may sound, the poetic delivery of her tone-perfect songs left the audience in awe.
Tracks such as Delicate, Inch By Inch, Darker Shade of Blue and Dirty have lyrics which weave their way around a room, painting a rich picture in the listeners’ minds before building into bittersweet crescendos.
It would be easy to compare Erinn’s voice to the soothing tones of Beth Orton or the high-pitched warbling of Kate Bush, but she possesses a whispery edge all of her own.
The show ended with Indigo – a beautifully-crafted, heart-lifting song, which highlights everything that’s good about Erinn’s amazing voice. The American might have arrived in the middle of heavy storms, but she left on a sweet breeze of approval.
For more information, visit www.erinnwilliams.com
- 26 October 2008
- Erinn Williams/ Caroline Martin
- St James Wine Vaults Friday, October 24, 2008
Into the cozy and stylish cave that is St James Wine Vaults went I, to see Los Angeleno Erinn Williams, who, I was assured, was really different. And she was – but first things first: Caroline Martin.
I didn’t even know Caroline was playing tonight; I’d never seen her before but knew her name from reading Bristol press. I was smitten.
Of course, it takes a certain amount of weird to smite me, and Caroline has plenty. The word “minimal,” even overused as it is, does not do justice to these songs. I can’t really think of anything more sparse than this, not even Hope Sandoval and Mazzy Star. And like the teacher that speaks quietly so that the class has to shut up and listen, one listens to Caroline and her words.
This provides the greatest source of weird; her lyrics, like, say, Lucinda Williams, are simple, conversational, personal and womanly, but, unlike Lucinda, just that little bit detached from conventional reality to make you feel are in a strange dream. Her lyrics are comparable to Rennie Sparks’ in the way they occupy that dreamspace, but they are much more sparse than Rennie’s. Her singing – and, yes, she is a real singer, not just a poet – is as though Gillian Welch was actually on morphine.
It is really good stuff; it is art, and it is thoroughly refreshing to encounter some genuine art. Encounter it yourself.
Then came Erinn Williams, looking very American and very Los Angeles in her bright makeup and bright shiny hair. This means nothing, by the way; it should not be surprising that an American would look like an American.
If anyone was expecting some kind of vacuous happy music, they would very quickly have stood corrected. Erinn plays a Stratocaster through digital delay and looping boxes and has a lot of self-made loops stored as well. She is a veritable one-woman Edge in the guitar department.
This is impressive enough, but then she sings and – hold the horses, Molly – this is amazing. She very clearly has operatic training and equally clearly is not afraid to use it. With looped unnameable chords á la Joni Mitchell and a voice that can drill right into your brain like a laser theremin, this music means business.
Erinn is joined by a flautist whose name I did not get. It is an instrument that goes particularly well with this music and adds a bit of non-electronic embellishment that somehow softens it and makes it all more intimate.
The songs are not heavy on hooks, but succeed on mood and pure sonic exploration. Having said that, I don’t want to overdo the opera thing; much of the time Erinn sings in a normal, even breathy voice.
Erinn Williams inhabits territory that you’d find Kate Bush and Tori Amos wandering around in, but she is musically edgier than Tori and her mighty weapon of a voice is a lot less twee than Kate. In fact, she is the opposite of Kate, who looked Euro-sexy in layers of black, while Erinn looks light but sings – and plays – very heavy indeed.
Review by Charley.
- A Long and Bitter Suicide
- Fuebruary 2007
Erinn Williams, Digging in the Dirt
Erinn Williams' new album, Digging in the Dirt, is filled with subtle references to a myriad of influences. Listening to the cd, you'll be hit immediately with sounds familiar to fans of Portishead and Alison Goldfrapp. But at the same time, you'll start hearing the undertones put forth by guitar work that seems to be a nod in the direction of someone more like Jeff Buckley.
The focus of the album is, of course, on Erinn Williams' vocal range. Her voice is soft, often whispery and layered, and is usually accompanied with a pitch that is several steps out of the reach of most vocalists. She uses this to her advantage every step of the way as she weaves depth into her songs with the guitar, a violin and the obligatory hint of electronica.
The multiple vocal tracks found on many of the songs are what serve to bring the album together in a way that makes it worth listening to. This is executed at its best on the albums eighth track, farthest from me. Aside from being one of the most engaging instrumental pieces on the album, the vocals here are able to showcase exactly what Erinn Williams is good at. The melody in the beginning of the song is full of short quips and crisp annunciation. As the track moves along her voice swells with the music and there's a bit of spoken prose backing everything up.
Digging in the Dirt is well worth listening to. Williams' voice is center stage throughout, but its ultimately her ability to make this work within its musical context that lets this album shine. You can preview some of the tracks or purchase the album at CD Baby.
- West Coast Performer Magazine
- Katie Burnett
- January 2007
- Erinn Williams. Digging in the Dirt
Digging in the Dirt, the newest album by singer/songwriter Erinn Williams, is like the diary of every angst-ridden teen girl. With songs that cry out words of unrequited love, loneliness and pain, there is a verse for every Tori Amos moment one might have. Williams, a talented musician with a background in opera, has been called a "distant cousin of Kate Bush." Though only now getting major nods in the music industry, Williams has already had her music featured in independent films, national commercials for Virgin Mobile, and the television show The Shield. Williams' newest treasure, Digging in the Dirt, features her poetic voice backed by beautifully picked musicians. With songs like "Delicate" showcasing violinist Charlene Huang's haunting melodies, Williams sets the melancholy mood with every verse. She pushes the boundaries of what other musicians usually abide by to create songs that truly force someone in the audience to feel the emotions being created. Williams paints pictures with her powerfully written lyrics, such as those found in "Yellow Sky": "The needle forms from the clouds / And injects the world from the sky / My wings spread far above the earth / And my limbs with heaven intertwine." Every word weaves its way from her mouth around the hearts of her listeners and pulls them into the musical dream she has created. For fans of Fiona Apple, PJ Harvey and other angsty female musicians, this is a must-have. Erinn Williams is a soon-to-be star, and the sooner you jump on her bandwagon, the sooner you'll have some great music for every rainy day of your life. (Self-released) www.erinnwilliams.com
- Smother Magazine
- March 2007
- Erinn Williams Digging In the Dirt
Alternative pop songstress Erinn Williams knows that shes not your prototypical pop star. And she doesnt give a damn. While some will mutter Tori Amos under their breath as they listen to her dynamic album Digging In the Dirt, I hear more of a Bjork influencemostly due to their enigmatic songwriting and her underlying attitude. Her music definitely has the electronic flare ups that both of those aforementioned female artists utilize in their latest music. Erinn Williams is a strong singer/songwriter that whose background in opera translates into some of her dramatic overtures that she writes into her music. The best song on the album is the alluring drive of Farthest From Me with its up-tempo bass that builds into a crescendo amid her whispered laidback vocal attack.
- "The Delicacy of Rage" from LA Music Scene
- By Aaron Settipane
- Nov 2004
- The Delicacy of Rage
The delicacy with which women project their rage and emotion is a significant leap from the masculine point of view. It is rare when any artist can channel her energy into a cohesive and understandable framework, but this is precisely what L.A. singer/songwriter Erinn Williams does.
Her tunes have a distinctive edge to them. On "The Battle," Williams begins with sharp vocals akin to the Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde. Most of Williams' songs bridge the gap between retro and ultra modern with an operatic, angelic range riding on top of abrasive guitar-driven sounds.Many of her recorded moments recall Tori Amos and Fiona Apple, with a similar mix of traditional and avant garde.
- "Fiery Spirit" from The Missoulian
- By Erica Parfit
- Jan 2002
- Spunk, strength and originality are the powers that push Erinn Williams new CD "Revolution" into the land of "must buy." Williams, a Missoula native, has pursued her musical career with determination and skill. With a background in opera singing, and a fiery spirit that cascades out of her music, Williams leaves the mind reeling. There is nothing reserved about "Revolution." Each song springs out of its creator with a vitality that surrounds the listener in abundance.
Led by Williams diverse voice, "Revolution" both rocks hard and floats mystically. She pushes herself to the hardest intensity then lifts into a higher register to a clear haunting sound. Musically, "Revolution" is well rounded. Williams uses all electric instruments in some songs, and acoustic in others. She incorporates electronica, and even covers a classical choral piece accompanied by her won lyrics and melody. This album is a courageous, straightforward piece of art. Anyone who enjoys Portishead, Patti Smith, Melissa Ferrick, Liz Phair, or P.J. Harvey, or just loves straight-up badass music - get this album.
- "Pipe Dreams" in Back Stage West
- By Nicole Kristal
- May 2002
- Singer/songwriter Erinn Williams has been singing for 12 years, and studied opera at the college level. After moving to L.A. Williams collaborated with a sound engineer to write songs. Since then she's honed her songwriting skills by layering poetic lyrics atop powerful guitar lines. Williams alternative rock sound could be likened to a cross between Tori Amos and P.J. Harvey. Williams has performed at such coveted venues as The Whiskey, The Roxy, and The Mint. The FX Network recently licensed one of her songs to appear on an episode of The Shield. Aside from promoting herself as a singer/songwriter, Williams has provided vocals for a number of sessions and a Coca-Cola Commercial.
"One of the biggest challenges is keeping your head up because you have to be out performing," she said. "You constantly have to be out there to get feedback and inspiration for yourself - because, if not, you can easily disappear."