Kathryn Williams The Quickening

Kathryn Williams The Quickening
Since her debut in 1999 with the critically acclaimed Dog Leap Stairs, British musician Kathryn Williams earned a Mercury Prize nomination and released five more albums filled with delicately intoned folk pop. On The Quickening, she introduces samples into her arrangements, an approach that contributes to the overall darker and more unsettling sound of her seventh solo release. There's plenty going on in this enjoyably moody and layered collection. Recorded in only four days, with a limit of three takes for each song, the album has a looseness that acts as a nice foil to her whispery vocals. Although her melodies are pleasantly engaging, even when she's in her sweetest and most conventional songwriting mode, the album's most compelling moments come when Williams gets creative with rhythm and percussion on tracks like "50 White Lines," "Smoke" and the riveting "Winter Is Sharp." (One Little Indian)