Breezy Pop With A Bold Stare: Astrid Williamson’s Day Of The Lone Wolf

Astrid Williamson
Day Of The Lone Wolf
Incarnation/One Little Indian

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“We never should have kissed,” sings Astrid Williamson on “Superman 2,” a track from her new album Day Of The Lone Wolf.  Maybe so, but Williamson, who seems well acquainted with both temptation and its repercussions, comes across as one who has little interest in playing it safe.

That being said, Day Of The Lone Wolf is a striking collection of gentle pop numbers that, in spite of their spacious, breezy feel, boldly stare down the realities of botched affairs, religious doubt and sexual longing.

A classically trained musician–the Shetland-reared Williamson was educated at the Royal Scottish Academy in Glasgow–Williamson’s luxurious compositions are made up of layers of strings, pianos, cellos and violins. But as lovely as this may be, it’s Williamson’s lyrical narratives that make it all so appealing. The penetrating “Reach” suggests a meditative Patti Smith; the synth-laden “Shhh…” boasts the album’s most memorable chorus and “Tonight” is a weary, rolling ballad that rejects the world of reality television romance and longs instead for someone who’s, “a lot like me.”

Confessional and unafraid to admit to spiritual doubt, Day Of The Lone Wolf doesn’t ask for answers but it also isn’t shy about throwing around a few questions.  For example, “Another Twisted Thing” features a narrator who confronts the ocean (“I went to the sea and I asked it how does it feel to touch the edge of everything….”), while the mesmerizing “Forgive Me” longs for redemption from a “killer messiah with a holy load.”

A compelling and deeply moving singer and songwriter, Williamson is an artist who’s not afraid to look at who she is and who she might very well end up being. “I could be a wild, wild thing,” she suggests on “Tonight,” “and you could be the wild, wild wind.”

Now that’s an invitation you shouldn’t turn down.