Tim Williams

Tim Williams


London and New York based singer-songwriter combining an ecclectic mix of strings, horns, guitars, programming, and harmony. Think Jeff Tweedy meets Sufjan Stevens at a coffee shop with Mark Kozelek and Ryan Adams.


Sincerity - it’s a word thrown around a lot in reference to a lot of contemporary music, but what does it exactly mean? Does it relate to honesty? Do we, as listeners, understand that it makes the artist in question’s music better or worse? Does it mean that we think the artist is telling the truth, or that they’re just being quite emotional? Does it really matter? To an extent, no, but in the case of Brooklyn, NY’s Tim Williams, the open door portraits that he paints of life in his songs hinge on their piercing naturalness. The breathy guitar, the dusty room reverb, and the voice that cracks with the freedom of two bottles of red wine – it’s not some stock attempt at honesty and impact; it’s a fresh, rough, impressionist landscape of the world Williams’ sees. Remember that old, tattered copy of Leaves of Grass that’s sitting in that murky basement of whatever house you grew up in? If you found that one night at 3AM, reeling from the loss of someone or something, seismic or miniscule – it’s kinda like that.

After a performance at the 2004 CMJ Music Marathon in New York, Williams befriended Eastbourne, UK-based producer Dave Lynch (The Duke Special, The Late Greats), who proposed the two work together. Lynch claimed that he could hear what Williams was going for in his material, but felt that his knob twisting could result in a more direct, upbeat approach than the beautifully spare and tragic shades of Tales Of Digression (2005). Williams acquiesced and a year later headed to “Grannytown” Eastbourne to lay tracks for an upcoming release, dubbed The Merchant Heart EP (Dovecote, 2006). Rounded out by brothers Paul (bass, guitar) and Phil (drums) Wilkinson of Belfast outfit the Amazing Pilots, the session results were exactly what Lynch promised that night in New York – more direct, focused, and hopeful, offering a light at the end of the dark, alcohol-stained tunnel Williams presented on Digression. Before the songs were even released, a full-length was planned and this time Lynch and Paul Wilkinson would share production duties.

Williams began writing in earnest, demoing an arsenal of about almost hundred songs in his Brooklyn apartment. With the process set in motion, an unexpected robbery threatened to de-rail the whole thing. “Paul flew over here to do some pre-production and help me sort through the songs I had composed,” recalls Williams. “The day before he arrived my apartment was broken into and my computer – with all my demos on it – was stolen along with my glasses and beard trimmer.” In the face of losing months and months of painstaking effort, the duo scrapped together enough money for a four-track and demoed the fifty or so songs that Williams could remember. They eventually selected 25 to be laid to tape back in England. In July of 2006 Williams headed back across the pond for the two-week long sessions. While the process went along unimpeded, when Williams arrived back in New York he felt the results necessitated additional work. Four months later the singer boarded yet another Britain-bound flight for mixing, more programming, and the addition of two recent compositions.

The result is When Work Is Done – out on October 2nd through New York indie Dovecote Records (Aberdeen City, Mason Proper) – a strikingly confident work that boldly drifts from keyboard-laden marches (“To And From Tomorrow”), to quick barroom Americana (“The Break In”, “5 Dimes”) and fuzzed-out electro balladry (“Out There”). Lead single “Novel” – gleaned from the initial Merchant Heart sessions – is a bright and deliberate pop song with a hell of a keyboard line, proving that Williams has moved on from the often morose implications of Digression. “I couldn’t feel more different from the person who wrote it” he states assuredly.

Reflecting on the incident of thievery that threatened the project initially, Williams chalks it up to serendipity. “I think it happened for a reason,” he says. “The songs I remembered are the songs that needed to be on this record.” He will be bringing those songs on the road with him as he “tours, tours, tours, and tours some more,” in support of the release. But by now, he understands the importance of patience and hard work, “If you do it right, it shouldn’t happen overnight,” he says. “I planned this for the long haul.” He mentions his admiration for artists like Will Oldham and the breadth of their work, something he intends to accomplish. With artists like that, he says, when a new record comes out, “people respect it and they want to hear it, because they know the body of work.” Seems like that light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter and brighter.


Careful Love LP - Out October 09

Murderous Air Single - As Featured in One Tree Hill

When Work Is Done (10/02/07) - full international release with press/radio/retail marketing efforts in full effect to follow.

Merchant Heart EP (Aug 2006) - Features two tracks from the upcoming full length "When Work Is Done." Full radio and press campaign will begin in late august.

My Brooklyn 7" - Limited edition release on white vinyl

Tales Of Digression LP - Feb 2004 - #4 most added at CMJ

818/The Chelsea Sessions EP

Set List

10 songs from various releases featuring new songs such as Novel, Out There, I Am Wearing It.