||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2011)|
|Born||1974 (age 38–39)
|Genres||Acoustic, folk, alternative rock|
|Instruments||Acoustic guitar, vocals|
|Labels||Caw Records, Eastwest Records|
Williams was born in Liverpool, and now lives in Newcastle upon Tyne after earning an art degree in the city. Williams released her first album, Dog Leap Stairs on her own Caw Records label in 1999 with a budget of £80. The follow-up, Little Black Numbers, garnered a Mercury Prize nomination, bringing her to the attention of a wider public. A spell with EastWest / Atlantic followed (Old Low Light in 2002, and the Relations covers album in 2004), before she returned to her independent roots with 2005's Over Fly Over. She released her sixth album, Leave to Remain, on Caw in 2006.
Williams has collaborated with Neill Maccoll, John Martyn, Badmarsh and Shri, Thea Gilmore, Tobias Froberg and Ted Barnes. Two, released in 2008, is the first project to be released under joint names. Williams and Maccoll co-wrote most of the album, with the exception of "Innocent When You Dream", which is a Tom Waits song. Two further songs on Two are written solely by Williams "6 a.m. Corner" and "Blue Fields". Williams played guitars, mellotron, Hammond organ and harmonium on the album.
Her next step was recording some of her music onto CD. These quickly sold at her gigs, so Williams set up her own record label, Caw Records, to release her music. After her second album, Little Black Numbers, was nominated for the Mercury Prize, she signed a licensing deal with Eastwest Records. Little Black Numbers reached #70 in the UK Albums Chart in 2001. The follow-up, Old Low Light reached #56 in 2002.
Her influences include Nina Simone, Nick Drake, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Simon And Garfunkel and Velvet Underground. She listens to classical and Cuban music, as well as artists such as PJ Harvey and Nick Cave, though she says she will always go back to the influences she grew up with.
She has sung on the Badmarsh & Shri album and worked with Twisted Nerve artist Pedro. In 2006, she was a special guest on Tom McRae's, Hotel Cafe Tour. Following this, Williams completed a tour with Tobias Froberg as support, to promote her album Leave to Remain. Williams released Two on 3 March 2008, written with and featuring Neill MacColl.
Williams collaborated with friend and former member of punk band Delicate Vomit, Anna Spencer, on a new project entitled The Crayonettes. Williams and Spencer, both tired of the same old children's CD format, decided to make their own record using their own children as an inhouse focus group. The results mixed folk, 1950s crooners, electro and hip-hop with songs touching on topics such as robots in the rain, brushing your teeth and pirates on the bus.
- Dog Leap Stairs (1999)
- Little Black Numbers (2000)
- Old Low Light (2002)
- Relations (2004)
- Over Fly Over (2005)
- Leave to Remain (2006)
- Two (2008) with Neill MacColl
- The Quickening (2010)
- The Pond (2012)
- Crown Electric (2013)
- "The Fade EP"
- "Soul to Feet"
- "Jasmine Hoop"
- "No One Takes You Home"
- "In a Broken Dream"
- "Shop Window"
- "Beachy Head"
- "Come With Me" (2008)
- "The Fade EP" – "Kiss the Forehead", "Some Kind of Wonderful"
- "Jasmine Hoop" – "Foreign Skies"
- "No One Takes You Home" – "Without Beat of Drum"
Her track, "Night Baking", appeared on the charity album, Colours Are Brighter, in October 2006. 'Words from the Garden' is a poets in residence involving Williams, Nev Clay, Emma McGordon and Anna Woodford. This CD is a selection of their writings from The Alnwick Garden over the winter of 2006/07, set in a soundscape by Caroline Beck, with music by Williams and Clay. In addition, Williams recorded a cover of Tim Buckley's "Buzzin' Fly" for the 2005 tribute album, Dream Brother: The Songs of Tim and Jeff Buckley.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 604. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- "Famous Alumni". Northumbria University. Retrieved 2009-10-03.
- Knott, Alex. "Kathryn Williams – new band, new album, new single + tour details | Music News". Frost Magazine. Retrieved 2012-04-30.
- Official website for Kathryn Williams
- Official website for Kathryn Williams & Neill MacColl
- Video interview with Kathryn Williams and Kathryn Williams acoustic session from BBC Liverpool08
- Folk Radio UK Interview by Colin Irwin