Kathryn Williams Old Low Light

Unlike most artists who are nominated for a Mercury Music Prize, Kathryn Williams has never received worldwide exposure. It’s a shame really, because her music is something that can appeal to a wide range of listeners. Old Low Light is the follow-up to her nominated Little Black Numbers and it’s equally as impressive. Her style of folk with jazz undertones is very simple, and while there are second and third parties in the fold, making it a mini-orchestra, it’s so quiet that she sounds alone. The songs seem to deal with everything from childhood nostalgia to letting the unconscious take over. However, when she covers the topic of loneliness on "No One Takes You Home,” it is done with the utmost flair, fashioning a sound that brings thoughts of Belle & Sebastian and the Velvet Underground together. It’s an easy thing to label her the female Nick Drake, but instead of despondency she aims for subtlety and quiet moments of playful bliss, which is refreshing for folk music. (Warner)