JESS WILLIAMSON – ” Time Ain’t Accidental “

Posted: April 28, 2023 in MUSIC

Jess Williamson’s “Time Ain’t Accidental” is the sound of a woman running into her life and art head-on, on her own terms for the first time in a long while. With a vocal dynamic kindred to artists like Linda Rondstadt and Emmylou Harris, Williamson blends the emotional immediacy and story-telling of traditional country with the artful, wholly honest transmissions of songwriters like Townes Van Zandt and Terry Allen. The album’s reckoning with loss, isolation, romance, and personal reclamation signals both a stylistic and tectonic shift for Williamson: from someone who once made herself small to an artist emboldened by her power as an individual.

“Chasing Spirits” is a strong contender for the year’s most striking opening lines, “are my love songs lies now that the love is gone?” It serves as an introduction to a song that asks throughout what happens when you pour your heart into something, and then it ends. Does it invalidate those feelings you once shared, and do you chase those feelings into the spirits in the sky, or sink into the ones you find in a liquor store? In many ways, Jess seems to be picking up where “Plans”, her duet project with Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield, left off.

This is many ways a classic country song, with cynicism-free emotional out-pouring, bar-room pianos and luxuriant waves of slide-guitar, it is in the lineage of Emmylou Harris, Lucinda Williams and The Chicks. What really stands out is just how natural this shift seems for Jess, her vocal tone lending itself perfectly to standing tall and proud among the waves of musical emotion. The next stage of a songwriter who with each album never seems content to stand still, this might just be Jess Williamson’s most exciting phase yet.

“Time Ain’t Accidental” is out June 9th via Mexican Summer.

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