Bryony Williams releases third EP, telling us the state she’s in
Earlier in the bleak year of 2020 Bryony Williams announced that she was signing to Beth Shalom records and had an EP in the pipeline. Of course, this news was music to the ears of anyone who’s listened to Bryony, and us at WFM felt no different. This was incredible, and the EP couldn’t be released quick enough. After several months of single releases, interviews and live streams it’s finally released, and Bryony tells us the state she’s in.
State I’m in is the third EP from the Midlands gal, with Conscious and Wanderlust being her first two ventures. However, this EP promised to be her best output yet with the songwriter further down the line in her musical career, adding to her already matured musicianship.
The opening track ‘Knockin’ was delivered to us before the EP and I loved it then, and I love it still. This still proves to be one of the more fun songs Bryony has ever done, let alone just on the EP. The opening drums on the track are infectious, and Bryony’s vocals, as always, are exquisite and grab your attention. Even though the track has an upbeat vibe to it, it carries darker tones in the lyrics with; “It’s lonely over here / It’s empty over there / I look in the mirror and face my stare”, which is where we get the first real glimpse that these tracks reflect on Bryony, showcasing the honesty that’s poured into these songs.
Throughout the EP you encounter some really nice jangly guitar work, which is referenced best on ‘Cherry Red’. With a nod to one of Birmingham’s best bars Cherry Reds, Bryony starts telling the tale of a past relationship, and how you can find yourself falling back in love with them. Another introspective track where Bryony tells her story with ease, entwined with pop melodies.
‘I Can Be’ was another track released prior to the EP, and probably the track which heightened the anticipation for the EP release. Once again, there’s some really thoughtful song writing as Bryony delivers her deepest track to date as she declares; “I can be anything I wanna be”, instilling hope in any listener. There’s much more atmospherics in this and is much lighter, allowing her wonderous vocals to have all the room they need. This streams into the next track ‘Dive’ where Bryony takes her place at the piano with some additional instrumentals. This is slowest paced track on the EP, and probably our most favourite if only for the lyric; “With the way that you treat me/I thought that you could see me”. It gave me hints of ‘Amber’ from her previous EP, but for as good as that song was – you can see Bryony has taken strides in her crafting beautiful songs like this one.
All good things come to an end, in this case ‘I Wonder’ is the final instalment of this journey. Once again Bryony takes a dive into her mind to put together another gem, as the opening verse will resonate with so many people;
“I’m not thinking straight / This is not the time nor place / for me to feel this way/ to be stuck inside my head / and waste my days in bed”.
There’s a certain nostalgia surrounding the song with the folky approach. For a closer it’s perfect, it slowly swirls out of time, bringing the EP to a steady and elegant end.
Going into the EP, the expectations were already fairly high. This can often be a bad thing as many things never reach the bar of expectation. Bryony truly surpassed all boundaries though, putting together a collection of songs that will act as a picture of the times in 2020. With the ability to write so open and honestly, she captures exact emotions and moods tethered to certain relationships and situations which is like gold dust in song writing.
After following her for several years now, it’s hard to be surprised about something like this as I always knew it was on the cards. But it’s great to see an artist grow over time who has so much to offer, especially someone as genuine and humble as Bryony. On top of that she’s a Midlander, making it all the more special.