Ones To Watch: Rhys Williams
Location: London, UK
Rhys Williams is a UK singer/songwriter whose musical craftsmanship exudes class and emotion. His debut album Great Falls garnered enviable critical acclaim; now he’s back with a follow up, ‘We Are Climbing Angel Mountain’. Released 3 March 2017 alongside his new single ‘Lightning’, the album is a timeless songbook of melodic artistry and deft lyrical craft, and it’s arguably Williams’ best work to date.
Rhys Williams, born in Wales and based in London, has sung in the Royal Albert Hall, recorded at Abbey Road and played in a band called The Ankle Stars who supported the likes of Supergrass, Strangelove and Shed Seven. Williams even played the flute for Morrissey, contributing a one-minute flute solo to the multi-platinum You Are The Quarry album. It was variously described as ‘striking’ by Radio 4, ‘delightful’ by Q Magazine and ‘horrific’ by the NME. He later performed live with Morrissey at his triumphant Manchester comeback gig that year, immortalised in the Who Put The M in Manchester live DVD.
We Are Climbing Angel Mountain sees Williams at his most honest and heartfelt. The album was born after he fell ill, stopped drinking, and lost his mother in a matter of months. He recalibrated himself, peeling away all the unnecessary layers of life, and this album is the result. It’s warm, soulful and real – a truthful document of some raw experiences and emotions, shrink-wrapped into delicious slices of perfect pop, which is sure to win him plaudits.
Rhys produced the album along with Mark Ferguson. It was recorded in reassuringly vintage settings, including RAK Studio 1 and Ray Davies’ KONK Studios in Crouch End. It features lush strings arranged by Sally Herbert (Plan B, Florence and the Machine, Bernard Butler), and it was mixed by Richard Woodcraft (Radiohead, The Last Shadow Puppets) and mastered by Frank Arkwright (The Smiths, Coldplay, Belle and Sebastian) at Abbey Road.
It’s a beautiful, affecting listen from start to finish. Enjoy getting to know Rhys Williams.
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