Nothing says emotional devastation like A.A. Williams’ new song Love And Pain

A.A. Williams promo pic 2020
(Image credit: Thomas Williams)

In the 18 months since her debut, self-titled EP was released, London-based singer and multi-instrumentalist A.A. Williams has become a revered figure in the metal scene, despite being a world away in sonic terms. Having made her live debut in April last year at the prestigious Roadburn Festival in the Netherlands, her glacial, nocturnally tuned journeys of loss, longing and redemption have seen her support the likes of Amenra, Cult Of Luna and Russian Circles, before making her first headline appearance at the Southbank Centre in London last March on the eve of the lockdown.

As immersive and gracefully consoling as the A.A. Williams EP was, its fully-fledged, transformative world is about to be expanded with the imminent release of her debut album, Forever Blue, due out on July 3 via Bella Union Records. Home-recorded yet richly rendered, its eight tracks cover vast terrain, not least to due to A.A.’s stethoscopic ability to zero in on the most minute of emotional fluctuations and make them vast, dynamic panoramas to explore.

Forever Blue is the soul's weather system in full, rapt effect, exemplified by the equally explicitly titled track, Love And Pain, that she's releasing today. A five-minute unfurling of the heart, it slows time down to the most deeply harboured and devastating of frequencies, A.A.'s rich, airy voice acting as both sublime coolant and catalyst for an orchestral/post-rock storm that erupts and ultimately wanes from within. For those still experiencing the displaced, introspection-inducing effects of lockdown, A.A. Williams' music offers the most intimate route to salvation.

Visit A.A. Williams' Facebook page and pre-order Forever Blue from the Bella Union online store

Jonathan Selzer

Having freelanced regularly for the Melody Maker and Kerrang!, and edited the extreme metal monthly, Terrorizer, for seven years, Jonathan is now the overseer of all the album and live reviews in Metal Hammer. Bemoans his obsolete superpower of being invisible to Routemaster bus conductors, finds men without sideburns slightly circumspect, and thinks songs that aren’t about Satan, swords or witches are a bit silly.