More than a gentle hello, Van William is set to release The Revolution EP September 8, 2017 through Fantasy Records. This highly anticipated collection of songs from the man who was part of the highly successful Port O’Brien is a lyrically vulnerable and lyrically contrary set of songs.
Already released to streaming audiences, “Revolution” (feat. First Aid Kit) sets the tone. This song is a treat, as it paints a vibrant picture with lyrics and masterful instrumentation. Musically upbeat and perky, the arrangement contrasts with the skillfully pointed lyricism. This song and “Fourth Of July” make positive vibes and tumultuous introspection hold hands.
“Never Had Enough” has that Ben Howard vibe, introspective and full of longing. One of William’s strongest talents here is the ability to juxtapose musicality with lyrical content. This song also pulls in some great guitar work that contrasts with the fingerpicking acoustic heard elsewhere. An expansive auditory experience for the listener, it breathes without limits. Closer “Cosmic Sign” is best sequenced last here. With its Simon and Garfunkel movement and soft vocal delivery, it is the song that lets everyone into the life of the narrator. “Cosmic Sign” is truly the star of the release, as piano joins the solid fingerpicking acoustic guitar.
This effort was recorded in Stinson Beach, California. All of the songs on The Revolution EP were co-produced by Van William. Key contributors include drummer Griffin Goldsmith (Dawes), bassist Chris Chu (the Morning Benders), keyboardist Tam Visher, co-producer Brian Phillips, and Klara & Johanna Söderberg (First Aid Kit).
This EP hits every feeling from exuberant and smart to bittersweet and everything in between. And it all connects, which attests to the impressive talent of Van William. This highly anticipated four-song EP is a preemptive introduction to the full length album, currently in production, set to release sometime in 2018.–Lisa Whealy