Rad Releases 20 – Bryony Williams
It’s that time once again, as the countdown to the end of 2020 rapidly approaches and we quickly want to move away from this year- we take a personal look back on familiar names, labels, promoters, and musicians’ best releases of the past 12 months. In what has been a challenging year for all, the one constant has been how artists and their labels have adapted and produced some of the best records of our time and it’s those releases that have the audience has depended on to get them through the year.
This year the Rad Releases special celebrates 10 years, to mark the decade-long feature we let our favorites take over the site to tell us the records that have kept them going throughout this trying year. Telling us how they’ve adapted, if they’ve returned to a loved record and what we can look forward to from them next year.
We’re so grateful this year introduced us to the wonderful sounds of Bryony Williams. At the end of October this year, Bryony released her 3rd EP State I’m In via Beth Shalom Records. Bryony Williams has this ability to cover a huge range of styles whilst maintaining the bold feel for flavour and experimentation is effortlessly captured within this dynamic new exploration. We hand the site to Bryony to find out more about her year in music….
Top Releases Of The Year
1. Grimes – Miss Anthropocene (album)
WHY: After Grimes’ Art Angels album, I didn’t know how she could possibly top it. But… she did. Miss Anthropocene takes me to another world. It’s beautiful, delicate, and turns you inside out.
2. Lime – Surf N Turf (single)
WHY: A friend sent me this while I was being a diy lesbian in the garden over the Summer and I had it on repeat for a solid hour. IT’S one of those. Plus I played it at a party recently and everyone asked who it was – a good moment.
3. Kylie Minogue – Say Something (single)
WHY: Because we all need a pop anthem in our lives. I am living for this Kylie come-back and this single off her latest album SLAPS. Perfect for a sing-a-long drive.
4. RY X, Olafur Arnalds – Oceans (single)
WHY: This track accompanies me on repeat whilst walking through the cold, foggy city landscape of Berlin this Autumn. It’s the perfect soundtrack for contemplation and feeling the star of your own music video to a silent world, and the drop in the middle eight section gets me EVERY TIME.
5. Fenne Lily – Breach (album)
WHY: I first listened to this album whilst walking back home from an overnight date. The world was beautiful to watch whilst being ingulfed in my confused and ☹ mind. Will I ever see this person again? Oh well, the world lives on. This album encapsulates that up, down, all-around thinking.
6. Pheobe Bridgers – Garden Song (single)
WHY: From her glorious album, Punisher, Garden Song is the second track on there and the opening music makes my chest feel like its drowning instantly. I also attach it to the final scene of Joey in the Netflix series, Grand Army, when this song is used to signify the characters healing of a traumatic event. I’m not a crier, but I damn cried at that scene. Oh, the emotions!!
7. Fiona Apple – Fetch the Bolt Cutters (single)
WHY: Admittedly, I’ve not really listened to Fiona Apple in the past, despite knowing her iconic status. So when she released an album this year, here was my opportunity. It’s a very well-thought-out album and each song has it’s own energy. Fetch the Bolt Cutters just stands out. Maybe it’s the dog barks.
The best show you have played this year / gig attended (if you had the opportunity at the start of the year)
Well, so far this year I’ve had the opportunity to play a total of two show; both of which were considerably different from one another and are both exceptional gig highlights. Firstly, back in January, my publication, Grrrl Groannn hosted its first launch event for music zine volume: 01. It was a sell-out success of nearly 100 attendees; Village Bully, Graywave, and the Bryony Williams band performed; we turned the place into a photography exhibit too with A2 print-outs of my gig shots for Grrrl Groannn, featuring artists such as Drahla, Skating Polly, Snail Mail, Jen Cloher, Big Joanie, and more. It was one huge celebration of what Grrrl Groannn has accomplished so far and everyone blew off a lot of steam that night.
Though, contrastingly, my second and last gig of the year was in no other than Sri Lanka! I had the opportunity to perform acoustically at a fancy yoga/surf resort that I definitely could not afford on my backpackers budget. But in exchange to perform over dinner for the guests, I had a taste of luxury by being gifted my own bed for the night, plus a cheeky free surf lesson through the surf instructor I’d made friends with. (For a one-night stay in a dormitory, it cost £50!)
Has there been any record that’s got you through this year?
PINS – Hot Slick
How have you adapted with releasing/recording/promoting during this year?
Thankfully, I had the absolute godsend of Beth Shalom Records believing in me and offering me my first proper record deal! So this year has probably been my best year yet in terms of releasing music, though there was a bit of a bump in the road when recording wasn’t possible because of Lockdown no.1. But in the end it all worked out. As for promoting, it’s kind of been the same but with more emphasis of connecting with audiences online. It feels like more people are somewhat listening and that’s definitely down to people having to stay home-bound and using social media as their escapism/prison.
Best discovery this year?
This is a re-discovery that I hope will bring one reader an ‘A-HA’ moment. But I was at an outdoors party and the DJ ended the night on this anthem and all I can feel is joy hearing it again. Bob Sinclair – World Hold On.
As this is our 10th year of Rad Releases, we want to look back on your 10 years- has there been on standout moment/standout record of the past 10 years?
My standout record must be Beach House – Bloom. It holds a very special place in my heart.
Artist/Band to watch for 2021
Plans for the New Year
With the recent release of my record ‘State I’m In’ through Beth Shalom Records, I hope that 2021 brings my next big opportunity. I think I’ll be on the look-out for someone to take charge of my PR (if I can afford it). Whilst also starting a monthly songwriting session on my Bandcamp where I record live song ideas of mine while giving context to it all. This is one venture I’ve come up with to try and earn actual money from my music. So if this interests you, keep a look out from January 2021!
Me and the label have been in planning for a UK tour in March but… (writing this in November,) I’m not sure if that will be going ahead. But let’s be hopeful.
Thank you Bryony and huge congratulations on your EP release, we love it!