Lucinda Williams on the new song she wrote about Ryan Adams’ accusations: “I don’t want this to seem like I’m completely defending his actions”

A track on the singer-songwriter's new album deals with the conversation around Adams that emerged last year

Lucinda Williams has spoken about the song she wrote about Ryan Adams being accused of sexual harassment.

The track, ‘Shadows & Doubts’, appears on her new album ‘Good Souls Better Angels’ and is described in press information as tackling “our quick-to-judge, social-media-led society”.

Speaking to the Guardian, Williams at first acknowledged it was about a time when a “male celebrity she knows was accused of sexual harassment” and later admitted it was about Adams, a previous collaborator of hers. “Look, I know Ryan and I know he’s fucked up a lot of things,” she said.


“He’s one of those people who you can love but he can also piss you off. God knows he’s made enough mistakes.”

She continued to say the song was not about the allegations against him specifically (claims which he has denied), but looking at a situation where somebody “basically fucked things up and trying to deal with seeing that person in that place but still being concerned about them”. “I still love Ryan,” Williams said. “Do I agree with what he did? No.

“I’m not trying to say: ‘Oh, poor Ryan, he was all misunderstood.’ I’m just taking the situation and turning it into a song, but I think you can apply it to different things. I don’t want this to seem like I’m completely defending his actions.”

A report published in the New York Times in February 2019 set out accusations against Adams from seven women, including Phoebe Bridgers and his ex-wife Mandy Moore. The allegations included emotional and psychological abuse, harassment, inappropriate and manipulative behaviour, and more.

Five months later, Adams resurfaced online to release a statement alluding to the allegations, which he had previously denied on multiple occasions. “I have a lot to say,” he wrote. “I am going to. Soon. Because the truth matters. I know who I am. What I am. It’s time people know. Past time. All the beauty in a life cannot be reduced to rubble for lies.”