Posts Tagged ‘Van William’

Van William

My folks’ little cabin in the Sequoia National Forest is where i wrote most of my record “Countries.” In the midst of a clusterfuck breakup and other human dramas, i moved up there for a while with my best bro, Pip the Angel dog. With no cell phone, internet, or other people. just me, pip, my guitar, and the sequoias. It was total seclusion. it feels pretty amazing and bizarre that those intimate moments will be out for everyone to hear so soon . Thanks so much to all of you for coming along with me. the support has been fucking incredible ,My debut solo album is out in 1 week! You can still order and get vinyl early with a signed postcard! Today we are releasing the album version of “Cosmic Sign”, which was the last song written for my debut record Countries. I wrote it after the election when I was feeling particularly dark and my initial instinct was to go hide in a cave somewhere.

I challenged myself to write a song from the perspective of the version of this country that I love and yearn for. Despite the monsters in the White House, I still have great hope for this country, and I wanted to reflect that in memories I have from traveling around, getting inspired by the people and places that actually make this country what it is. I am gearing up to head out and get inspired again.

Advertisements

Image may contain: one or more people

So many songs have taken on new meaning over the past nine months or so. Ask Van William about his song “Revolution” and he’ll tell you that it “started as a song about the anxieties of being in a relationship, where both people want to fix its broken parts, but disagree on the means,” but “became something else during and after the 2016 election.”

However, that original inspiration was the video’s guiding force, Van William . “Something simple and stark that followed a linear progression into the madness found in the waning days of a romantic relationship. I wanted the video to show the claustrophobic feeling that can form by sharing too much of each other’s lives and being unable to repair the damage from inside the walls of what was built together.” It’s an idea, he says, that came while binge-watching Ingmar Bergman films.

Director Grant James wrote to tell me that “‘Revolution’ is an emotional performance delivered by Van, as well as First Aid Kit’s Klara and Johanna Söderberg, within the confines of a black void. The focus was to compose moving portraits of the artists that express the meaning behind the lyrics of the song as the musicians go through an emotional journey individually and together. The result delivers a variety of raw and striking imagery that balances the fine line between high-fashion cinematography and keeping our subjects grounded in their own natural aesthetic and realism.”

When Van William was listening to a version of his song in the studio, it was clear to him that he wanted the duo First Aid Kit to add their sibling voices to his song. “We have all known each other for almost ten years, when they opened for my old band Port O’Brien on a European tour. Life and the Atlantic Ocean separated us from continuing a real friendship for many years, but we reconnected at a mutual friend’s house party in L.A. early last year. We rekindled our connection into one of the most important friendships I’ve ever had, and tracked this together before they went back to Stockholm. When the three of us are together, it feels like family in the best possible way.”

The Revolution EP is the solo debut for Van William having been in previous bands Waters and Port O’Brien

The Revolution / Cosmic Sign (Demo) 7″ is out today at indie retailers. Go support your local record store.

 

VanWilliam_Countries_RGB (1).jpg

“Before I Found You” is the opening track on my debut record “Countries,” out January 19th. The entirety of the record centers around the clusterf!ck of heartbreak and romantic tailspin desperation, but I wanted to open the record with a love song. I had to dig deep to remember those insane love-buzz-drug feelings of the early days where everything and everyone is wrong except the bubble-world you blow out with your partner.

Making “Countries” was truly one of the most surreal and fulfilling experiences of my life. I booked ten days in a studio up in Stinson Beach, CA with my best friends. We all stayed under the same roof, cooked dinner together, smoked pot and drank whiskey, listened to albums and recorded twelve songs in between it all. Thankfully, my good friend Jonathan Chu was there to film it all. This video captures the spirit of those wild and emotional days.

“Before I Found You” is off the new album “Countries” due out January 19th, 2018

VanWilliam_Countries_RGB (1).jpg

While the name Van William may be new to some of you his first band more than likely won’t be – well at least not if you were a regular listener to Folk Radio UK back in 2008 when Port O’Brien, his first band, was receiving plenty of airplay . He then went on to form a second band called Waters. Whatever musical shifts these two bands explored there was, and still is, there is no mistaking Van’s vocals which first drew me to the Indie-folk sound of Port O’Brien . It turns out that during this time he managed to cultivate a tight-knit community of fellow musicians, embarked on a serious, years-long romantic relationship, even found time to spend summers in the Kodiak Islands of Alaska working on his father’s commercial fishing boat.

Although my time on Kodiak Island, Alaska has always been a huge part of who I am, I’ve never been able to share much of it with anyone other than my immediate family. this video highlights how life feels up there and how heartbreaking it is to say goodbye to my years as a commercial fisherman. the songs on my EP and forthcoming album are deeply tied to my experiences on Kodiak. the fact that my life up there is ending while this project is starting feels right in every sense.” but with it came a “renewed sense of purpose” and a new musical direction, heralded by the arrival of ‘Countries’, Van’s vivid and open-hearted solo debut full length album, set for release on 19th January 2018 via Fantasy Records / Concord Music.

The songs on his new album are very much tied to his experiences on Kodiak Island, Alaska, something he clearly wanted those listening to his music to be aware of. This recent introductory video is very revealing about “how life feels up there and how heartbreaking it is to say goodbye to my years as a commercial fisherman. The songs on my EP and forthcoming album are deeply tied to my experiences on Kodiak. The fact that my life up there is ending while this project is starting feels right in every sense.”

The album includes Van’s recent single ‘Revolution’ (featuring guest vocals from First Aid Kit) and marking the album’s announcement a fresh new single: The Country.

 

Image may contain: 1 person, text

Hey there Port O’Brien fans. Did you get a chance to check out this mini-documentary on my life up on Kodiak Island in Alaska and the new Van William songs? Its been pretty amazing to see it spread so organically among people with Kodiak/Alaska/fishing roots and Port O’Brien fans. I appreciate all the sharing

Van here. I recently got back from my very last trip working on my dad’s boat up on Kodiak Island, Alaska. Saying goodbye to the amazing life up there has been devastating, but I wanted to share it with y’all. Port O’Brien has been a huge part of my life on Kodiak, from “Fisherman’s Son,” “Stuck On A Boat,” and “Sour Milk/Salt Water.” The new Van William songs are less specifically about that life, but are buried in the anxiety that comes from saying goodbye to it, and offer a retrospective of what it has meant to me. I am very proud and excited to share this short documentary about my life up in Alaska and the new Van William project.

Van William’s bleeding heart may be eternally affixed to his sleeve, but very few songwriters can make the therapeutics sound so fun.  Known for the meticulous alt-pop song craft of his former acclaimed indie outfits, Port O’Brien and WATERS, Van William (nee Pierszalowski) offers an auspicious glimpse into a promising future.

Always the creative force that fueled his musical endeavors, William’s newfound independence allowed room to roam in fresh and exciting ways.  The songs reflect the pain and disillusionment of lost love, have a dark, messy edge as William’s consistently dazzling melodies and stirring choruses carry the emotional subject matter to striking affect.   

So many songs have taken on new meaning over the past nine months or so. Ask Van William about his song “Revolution” and he’ll tell you that it “started as a song about the anxieties of being in a relationship, where both people want to fix its broken parts, but disagree on the means,” but “became something else during and after the 2016 election.”

However, that original inspiration was the video’s guiding force, Van William told me. “Something simple and stark that followed a linear progression into the madness found in the waning days of a romantic relationship. I wanted the video to show the claustrophobic feeling that can form by sharing too much of each other’s lives and being unable to repair the damage from inside the walls of what was built together.” It’s an idea, he says, that came while binge-watching Ingmar Bergman films.

Director Grant James wrote to tell me that “‘Revolution’ is an emotional performance delivered by Van, as well as First Aid Kit’s Klara and Johanna Söderberg, within the confines of a black void. The focus was to compose moving portraits of the artists that express the meaning behind the lyrics of the song as the musicians go through an emotional journey individually and together. The result delivers a variety of raw and striking imagery that balances the fine line between high-fashion cinematography and keeping our subjects grounded in their own natural aesthetic and realism.”

Video Directed by Jonathan Chu. Featuring Laura Burhenn (The Mynabirds). “Never Had Enough of You” is off “The Revolution EP” out now.

The Revolution EP is the solo debut for Van William having been in previous bands WATERS and Port O’Brien. That EP will be out in September with a full length in 2018.

What did I miss? check out this playlist of the songs of – Van William, Van here. I made a Spotify playlist that features songs I’ve made through the years that I’m still proud of. It has songs from my new project Van William as well as WATERS and of course PORT O’BRIEN. Take a listen and see if there are any POB songs that you feel like have been woefully omitted’

https://open.spotify.com/user/vanwilliammusic/playlist/1VVE0VhkutgVgOxl8x8FeN

Five and Dime
My Eyes Won’t Shut
Fisherman’s Son
Stuck On A Boat
I Woke Up Today (AWCDWS version)
Close the Lid
Sour Milk/Salt Water
Calm Me Down
My Will Is Good
Oslo Campfire