Ears Wide Open: Quiet Canyons

Quiet Canyons (Photo by Tim Seiwert)

Quiet Canyons is the latest iteration for the music of singer-songwriter Tim Williams, whose discography includes three solo albums released between 2005 and ’09, three more fronting the band Soft Swells and a couple of singles under the name If Climbing.

The new project finds Williams, acoustic guitar in hand, embracing quietude, even as the world — his personal sphere as well what he sees on the evening news — grow louder and louder. Consider this: In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, social justice uprisings and political upheaval, 2020 saw the birth of Williams’ second daughter … just before he underwent his fourth open-heart surgery.

It was Williams’ own health problems that brought the songwriter to L.A. in the first place; in 2009, he chose to relocate to the West Coast from New York to recover after his first surgery. “What I found, I guess, was some perspective,” he said in 2011. Now that perspective has only grown deeper.

“With my second daughter just being born and a fourth heart surgery a few weeks away, the pandemic was the least of my worries,” Williams says of his new music. “I didn’t plan on writing a bunch of songs or releasing an album, it just happened naturally and quickly. I wanted this record to be rawer than anything I had ever released and did that by not overthinking anything. It was a blast connecting with producer Dave Lynch again, working remotely at his studio in Eastbourne, U.K. (luckily, he never sleeps). Christian Wright rounded it off by mastering the record at Abbey Road, completing a lifelong dream of mine.”

“We Overflow” is the lead track on the debut Quiet Canyons album, a stripped-down and self-titled affair that comes out Feb. 12 via Brooklyn label Trash Casual.

“I wrote ‘We Overflow’ at a time when people were rioting in the streets of Los Angeles,” Williams says. “Driving around and seeing huge plumes of smoke in the distance comforted me in some way, knowing that people can be moved enough and erupt with emotion.”

||| Stream: “We Overflow”