Bryony Williams – ‘State I’m In’ EP review

Following support from Amazing Radio, BBC Introducing and Spotify, Beth Shalom Records signing Bryony Williams is set to release her debut EP ‘State I’m In’ on 30 October (pre-order here). Bryony says: ‘This is where I am at right now in my life, which is ever-changing. But the key things that remain are self-reflection, being (un)lucky in love, and absorbing everyday life through my own, critical though colourful lens.’

‘Knockin’ opens the EP with a burst of arty synth beats before a countdown allows Bryony’s grunge-tinged guitar to take centre stage. She talks about her battles with depression and how this has led to feelings of being weak and trying to avoid responsibility (‘I come knocking at your door, I don’t know what’s real anymore’) before veering into something more power pop on ‘Cherry Red’. A nostalgic coming-of-age tale about a special time in your life, it reminded us of Rilo Kiley with its humorous and heartfelt lyrics: ‘We’d get silly drunk, fuck around until I called you a hunk’; ‘we all know how this ends’.

Recent single ‘I Can Be’ is a statement of intent – ‘I can be anything I want to be’ – dowsed in Smashing Pumpkins-style guitar work, while ‘Dive’ calms things down with a piano-led poignancy. Bryony reflects on how her life has turned out so far while stirring strings bring out the goosebumps: ‘By the way they treat me, I thought you could see me’. The closing ‘I Wonder’ has an anthemic and fuzz-filled build-up that takes a turn into chamber pop territory. It’s a nostalgic piece that finds Bryony wishing she could escape her thoughts and stop wasting time in bed – while also worrying about the wider world: ‘Can we spend a little time to read in between the lines?’; ‘I’m as confused as you about what the world is coming to’. Bryony also spends time pining for a former lover – or rather wondering if she is still in their thoughts: ‘I wonder if I ever cross your mind. When you fall asleep, do you ever dream of me or am I just a distant memory?’

‘State I’m In’ is a potent and powerful collection of songs about trying to find yourself and escape your worries in increasingly anxious and disruptive times.

https://bryonywilliams.bandcamp.com

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