Kathryn Williams & The Pond is a trio featuring the Mercury Music Prize nominated folk singer-songwriter Kathryn, along with husband-and-wife team Simon Edwards (Fairground Attraction) and Ginny Clee (The Dear Janes.) The project includes some bold and innovative ideas, such as augmenting vintage beats with Eastern flavoured loops. When we saw The Pond live at The Social, playing a selection of tunes from the album, they were supported by keyboards and drums.
An eponymous album follows on May28th or you can catch the band live at the venues listed below. We had an advance listen to the recording, and this is what we thought:
‘Circle Round A Tree’ – this shimmering, frosted, chiming candelabrum of a song has repetitive bass note ripples and silvery guitar sounds – each note encrusted with Kathryn’s lacy vocals, that hang like veils upon an alabaster statue. Moreish and irresistible.
At ‘The River’ glistening ripples of sound are clustered around the sweet vocals- but thunder threatens in the distance and the gurgling sounds seem distant – as if obscured by the approaching storm.
‘Art of Doing Nothing’ is like a fading photograph. Curling up on the window sill, this fragment of time is abandoned and dusty, but no less intriguing. Conjoined to this is ‘Pass Us By’ with insistent percussive elements and a light dusting of trombone. As always Kathryn’s soft-as-icing sugar voice rises and falls, like irresistible waves of fondant.
‘Memory Let Down’ has strident keys laying around the landscape like gigantic browning molars. The guitar parts create thin layers of fragile sound, and like the voice, these grow slowly, and so gently, like ice fronds creeping up the window pane.
‘Bebop’ has elasticated straps of sound that create swirling patterns for the rap to gently brush against, like laying a sleepy head against a velvety cushion. This is dreamy and quite magnificent. ‘Hard Shoulder’ has a chirpy twenties feel to it. Rosy vocals are gently smeared on the surface. ‘End of The Pier’ has those threatening clouds again. But the sun-beams peer through the clouds as you wander gradually up to the end of the pier. The most fragile items of sound, though, are difficult to see – because the storm is causing a momentary loss of vision.
‘Evening Star’ has rattlesome percussion that rumbles down the track and a verse that wheedles it’s way into your brain. ‘Aim’ has a difficult start and church-like verses. The words linger and sweat against an African-sounding string accompaniment. Then a snake charming pipe writhes around the basket of sounds. The result is satisfactory, an infusion of noises that make you smile sweetly as a you nod agreeably.
© Neil_Mach April 2012
The Pond – Tour Dates
May 28 2012
Komedia Brighton, Brighton, UK
Tue May 29 2012
Union Chapel, London, UK
Wed May 30 2012
The Ruby Lounge, Manchester, UK
Fri Jun 01 2012
Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, UK
Sat Jun 02 2012
King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow, UK
Sun Jun 03 2012
The Sage Gateshead, Gateshead, UK