Kathryn Williams is a 31-year-old British singer-songwriter hailing from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne (although born and raised in that musical city, Liverpool); with a degree in Fine Art and five albums under her belt. 'Hollow' is the first single from her forthcoming album 'Leave To Remain' and comes before a planned UK tour beginning in October.
'Hollow' opens very pleasantly, with an understated yet melodic intro performed by piano, percussion and strings that brings Fiona Apple to mind and encourages the listener to pick up a glass of red wine, sit down in an armchair on a wooden floor and relax. Kathryn begins to sing after just enough delay for the above to occur, and her voice suits the mood perfectly. She carries the tune well, and although it would be unfair to say her voice is especially strong it does have a presence and could perhaps be likened to that of Icelandic singer Emiliana Torrini. After the singing begins more instruments are employed, and Kathryn's folk influences become more obvious. The single's B-side, 'Everyday Still Life' is at least equal in strength to its predecessor, with a more upbeat feel and perhaps more of a pop influence.
'Hollow' and 'Everyday Still Life' both shuffle along nicely and are unlikely to intrude your thoughts too much. Sadly, both tracks fail to develop to any significant degree or reach any kind of climax, and where the music leads the lyrics follow; leaving emotion thin on the ground. Kathryn Williams is not without talent, but these songs do not spark interest or stay in the mind after the CD has ended, especially in comparison to other female singer-songwriters creating music today - perhaps a little more angst is needed.