AAW FRONT
Release Date: 25th January 2019

Label: Holy Roar Records

Genre: Folk Rock/Post Rock

Moments after pressing play on this EP, it swallowed me whole. With tingles spreading across my body and a pain in my chest, I sat and listened, not feeling like time was passing me by but the entire earth. I could do nothing but let this music consume me.

A.A. Williams captivates a gentle coldness on her debut EP, it’s melancholic and reflective, providing swathes of material to dive into before you can even begin to understand it. Although sonically she’s easily compared to Emma Ruth Rundle, Williams plays in a softness unique to her: an intimacy that can make you feel so completely still.

The self titled EP seems meticulously crafted and poised to both express and attack emotion. The crescendo that swarms over the piano during ‘Control’ sees each instrument playing with a knowingness of when to kick into gear and when to hang back. This is a roundabout way of saying that the song is perfect… in fact the whole album is. The musicians involved never add too much, the drums perfectly accompanying the mood of the piece, never overpowering soft moments or failing to push the song across. Whether it’s the bass and snare combo giving ‘Cold’ its own heartbeat or the short drum roll never letting the us quite fall into the expanse on ‘Belong’, the drums are played with such precision. The guitar takes on similar responsibility during ‘Terrible Friends’, a song so soft at first that you can hear each chord change, the fingers scraping across the fretboard and surprisingly not the musician themselves breathing.

But the star of the musical show is Williams’ voice, one that delicately glides through each song but never once lets itself be overpowered. There’s not a solitary second on this record where she lets her ethereal dreamlike quality cause her to fade into the background, her sonic presence is just too powerful to be pushed aside.

This EP is a journey I urge you all to take not once, not twice, but as many times as it requires. Each song makes me feel like I’m alone on the grandest scales; stood atop of a mountain, weaving through bare trees in dense forest or brushing my feet across the river tides. This is an epic. A flawless, careful, risky, expressive, light, dense epic. It’s the complexity of human behaviour and emotions. It’s fine art. It’s just incredible.

Rating: 10/10

Recommended Song: Terrible Friends