andy mcwilliams
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andy mcwilliams

Highlands, Texas, United States | INDIE

Highlands, Texas, United States | INDIE
Band Pop Americana


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"Andy McWilliams has a method to his madness"

There’s not a tidy label for the sounds that emit from The Shoegazer EP, a solo project from Andy McWilliams, multi-instrumentalist for theatrical pop group the Scattered Pages. But McWilliams, a bit of a musical oddball, attempts a description. He calls his tunes “meandering, electric, avant-garde pop.”
It would sound absolutely pretentious — if it weren’t true. Every song on the largely instrumental Shoegazer EP twists and turns through a dizzying array of genres, and each seems to be grounded in a specific memory. (It was recorded between 1997-2001 but is only now getting a proper release via Three Ring Records, an indie label out of San Francisco.) Arrangements take odd turns and form interesting shapes.
Blue Line, the one-minute opener, chugs along an alternately delicate and forceful instrumental line. It’s accented by loops, strings and even a few stray hip-hop grooves. Gentle chimes, an upright bass and a whiff of drum-n-bass anchor By Boat.

This is truly quirky stuff, but McWilliams’ elegant production keeps it all accessible. The waltz-like Letter to Ida, inspired by the end of a relationship, evokes a lovely, nostalgic mood. It’s one of the disc’s dreamiest moments.

McWilliams says he wrote Out West before a move to Santa Fe, N.M. (He’s since returned to the Houston area.) In just under two minutes, the song manages a jangly, alt-country vibe, like something that would set a scene between friends on a lonely stretch of road in a Gus Van Sant film.

The destruction that marked Sept. 11 served as a springboard for the haunting Mailbomb, the only track featuring McWilliams’ vocals. He sounds like he’s coming through via a fuzzy radio signal.
“Don’t mean to bother you with nothing new to say,” he sings. “You just have the voice that I needed to hear today.”

September is a (relatively) straightforward moment, inspired by what McWilliams says was “just a really (expletive) month.” A crackling sound pierces through the gentle music, like a needle grazing atop an old record. It creates a real sense of comfort and intimacy — one that McWilliams manages to artfully capture in every oddball tune. - Houston Chronicle

"Second Stage: Andy McWilliams"

I wasn't sure what to think the first time I listened to The Shoegazer EP by Houston-based multi-instrumentalist Andy McWilliams. It's just 16 minutes of mostly instrumental songs (only one of the seven short tracks has vocals), and some of the guitar lines feel an awful lot like smooth jazz (cue death rattle). But there's a playful irony in these songs that kept me listening and wanting more. The Shoegazer EP, a mostly appropriate title, is quirky but wonderfully moody. Delicate, twinkling electronics linger in warm washes of reverb and needle-drop static. Lush string arrangements mingle with retro, analog drum machines and ethereal, digital textures. "Mailbomb," the only cut with vocals, showcases McWilliams' warm, affecting voice. The production holds together nicely, and though it does feel very much like a first release from an artist still finding his voice, it leaves me curious to hear what else he can come up with. - NPR All Songs Considered


Scattered Pages -- Lazy Are the Skeletons, 2006 -- A band I miss the most since its apparent (though unofficial) demise, is Scattered Pages. Earlier albums showed promise but sounded tinny compared to the grand weight of Lazy Are the Skeletons, my favorite local album of '06. Its orchestral pop was a labor of love, with every second of music filled with the sounds of Andy McWilliams, an obsessed multi-instrumentalist with a Tom Waits problem. The lyrics are poetry soaked in literary references. Brandon Hancock's Brit-slanted vocals made Houston sound way smarter than it is, which is probably why the album was distributed by a company in San Francisco. Unfortunately, little has been heard from the band since the album was released, save for a one-off show in 2008. Ah, but who cares; you're going to really love this album if you haven't heard it before. Available on iTunes. Recommended track: I have a particular affinity for the lithe Iris, featuring Kurt Coburn on vocals, but The Empire Complete is also unbeatable. -- Sara Cress
- - Houston Chronicle


The Shoegazer Ep is available on cd and digital download through three ring records,



andy mcwilliams, is best known for his work as an multi-instrumentalist producer/engineer with the houston indie pop outfit, "The Scattered PAGES", and his electric guitar work with Joe West & the Sinners, and Lisa Novak, has begun to release his solo records through Three Ring Records. the Shoegazer EP is out now!

"JawboxeR" was released on December 7, 2010 via Island/DefJam digital distribution. Always busy, the next two solo records are underway. all instruments are played by mcwilliams, and recorded in his home studio in highlands, texas called "the ATTIC".

at the moment i'm recruiting band members for "ABOVE GROUND POOLS",... a band of heathens that center around live looping.

generally, the music swarms up from nowhere to create a symphony like background for melody and or vocals.
influences include: tom waits, jon brion, gustav mahler, elliott smith, bill frisell, marc ribot, kanye west, fiona apple, jimmie dale gilmore, wilco, and a ton of others...