Former piano-playing siren with indie-goth trio Goya Dress, Astrid Williamson has revamped her image and sound for her solo debut....

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The Tour


The Tour

FORMER PIANO-PLAYING SIREN WITH INDIE-GOTH TRIO Goya Dress, Astrid Williamson has revamped her image and sound for her solo debut. Now blonde, clad in designer suits and photographed sulking moodily amidst exotic European architecture, we could be forgiven for expecting an album of postmodern techno balladry. But ‘Boy For You’ is actually a full-bodied collection of timeless folk-pop recorded in New Orleans.

The spooked ambience and rough edges of Goya Dress have been largely smoothed out here, replaced by new levels of lyrical intimacy and singer-songwriter maturity. For the most part, these songs feel like they have been [I]lived [/I]rather than merely imagined. This time it’s personal – and, in parts, rather splendid. Probably because the more measured numbers are unafraid to wallow in warm traditionalism rather than clutch at quirky modernity for its own sake. Like country-tinged strummer ‘Everyone’s Waiting’, for instance, or the devotional heart-twanger ‘Someone’, a lonely prairie waltz with overtones of Mazzy Star by way of Beth Orton.

Elsewhere Williamson does her indie Kate Bush thing with undeniable aplomb (‘Sing For Me’) but, alas, a few overly polished examples of Sunday-supplement neo-Celtic bluster and feel-my-pain warbling make up the numbers. If only she’d release the claws-out passion lurking just below the surface of these troubled waters, she could demand our full attention instead of just our mild interest.