Interview: Rhys Williams

Rhys Williams is playing at the Hornbeam Cafe with Russell Swallow & The Wolf and Jessica Irvine as part of Stow Festival. He’s also releasing his new album a week later. We caught up with him to look ahead to the festival show.

Hi Rhys! Are you looking forward to Stow Festival?

I’m really looking forward to it. I live in Walthamstow and it’s great to be able to play locally for a change. I’m also looking forward to seeing The November Five at the Rose and Crown on Saturday.

Tell us a bit about you and your music.

I’m a singer-songwriter from Wales. I’ve been living in Walthamstow since 1999. My music’s been compared to Ben Folds Five, Jellyfish, ELO and even Wings. I do like Wings, but even so this was a surprise, as I like the Beatles quite a bit more. Uncut called it “pop with a sunny disposition belying its brooding lyrical concerns”, which I think sums it up pretty nicely.

You’re releasing an album soon, right?

The album’s being released this coming Monday, September 24th. It’s called Great Falls. I recorded it in London and Reston, Virginia. Great Falls is a real place – a waterfall round the corner from where the studio was in the US. I picked the name because I liked the double meaning: thematically, the record is all about the majesty of the heroic plummet.

What can people expect from your Stow Festival performance?

Pop songs and lots of them.

What are your plans for the rest of the year? 

I’m releasing a single from the album next month – ‘Masquerade’, a song about ladies who take their clothes off. I’m playing at the Luxe near Spitalfields on 24 October. We’re also writing and rehearsing a new crop of songs which I hope will form the basis of the next record.

Rhys Williams plays at the Hornbeam Cafe on Friday 21 September with Russell Swallow & The Wolf and Jessica Irvine. Entry is £6 on the door, or £11 with a vegetarian meal.

Here’s the video to ‘Downhill’ by Rhys Williams.

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