Those who know me best know my deep, unending love for The Civil Wars. But before I loved their music, I loved the music of Joy Williams. Williams was one half of the now defunct duo, and has a voice that can both break your heart or get you up and moving. After the breakup of The Civil Wars, Williams moved back to California and began to write what would become her newest solo album. Venus (out next week 6/29) is an interesting listen in that it has such range. If you are looking for exactly the same music as The Civil Wars, you won't find it here. But while her new music deviates from her former band, Williams's honest songwriting is still on point. Her first single, "Woman (Oh Mama)," is an anthem for female empowerment influenced heavily by the drum circles of Venice Beach. The aching ballad, "What a Good Woman Does," addresses the breakup of The Civil Wars. Both songs completely different, both songs completely effective. I was able to see Williams play in Los Angeles this past May, one of the three shows she did around the world before the release of her album. She was honest, funny, kind, and continued to have the easy rapport with the audience that used to make her Civil Wars shows so great to attend. I cannot recommend her music enough.
You can read about the new album here.
And you can STREAM Venus in its entirety on the NPR website before its release, here.
Video above found here. Venus out June 29th.