LD Williams is one of those authentic modern day troubadours. The London based artist writes all his own Indie Pop & Soul songs, and records them at home on an iPhone. Influenced by music from the 60’s through to the 90’s with a Britpop flavor, the singer-songwriter is fresh on the block and building his catalog. Williams’ music doesn’t possess the immediacy that one would expect from the usual pop fodder. Take his double-sided single “California”, which consists of the songs, “California” & “I’ll Promise You This”. The bedroom production is understated; the core guitar riffs, a fluttery, jangly thing; and the choruses, sing-able instantly irresistible tunes. When broken down, these songs seem like they could have been classic singer-songwriter tracks in a dozen different situations, but something about LD Williams as an artist makes it possible for him to take the ordinary and, through detailed and somewhat off-kilter songwriting and singing, elevate it to something truly great.
LD Williams music rewards patience. One won’t likely find the clear pop single or other such bids for instant chart-climbing. Yet even in their raw state, listen after listen, Williams’ songs expand with newfound depth. The crisp banging beat on the opening track “California” provides itself with an edgy briskness, surrounded by the energetic strum of Williams’ acoustic guitar.
For much of the song, it’s just voice, guitar, and drums. LD Williams adopts a kind of precision-driven songwriting, a sort of deceptive minimalism. Even as the song builds in sonic impact, there’s never a shred of excess, as Williams’ voice powerfully resonates to reach its crescendo.
LD Williams arranging and performance approach benefits the textural and narrative feeling of the record. This works especially well on the second track. When Williams tells a story using poetic imagery, as he does on songs like the show-stopping “I’ll Promise You This” – garnished with an understated but fiery electric guitar solo – everything about Williams’ brilliance comes full circle.
Something about the way the song begins with a combination of the drumbeat and Williams’ own guitar playing seems inevitable and self-propelled. The natural progression of the song from verse to chorus to verse is a mark of good song writing. They track has a potent chorus, and Williams’ voice, is excellent at conveying emotion.
LD Williams has the ability to write songs which grow more captivating over time. His impressive songwriting achieves a rare balance: hearkening back to sounds of earlier music eras while pointing forward toward less trod creative ground.
But it’s his touch of the troubadour style, woven in with the soul revealing lyrics and edgy expressive voice that will catch the public’s attention. And in reality, that’s the true victory at the heart of “California”, which is executed with conviction.
LD Williams presents himself as a complete artist with these songs, but more importantly, he also accurately conveys the notion that he’s completely at ease doing his thing. This is a perfect introduction to the world of LD Williams for those unfamiliar with this talented singer-songwriter. Without gloss and pretense, “California” is a job very well done, frankly.