Vinyl Williams - Into
Jul 24th, 2015
Lionel Williams leaves behind the murkier lo-fi production of his 2012 debut full-length, Lemniscate, for the somnambulant pop of Into. The new album—out July 24th on Chaz Bundick’s (Toro Y Moi, Les Sins) Company Records—moves Lionel’s Vinyl Williams alias into a more vivid, multi-colored dream world. Unlike the dramatic film scores of his grandfather (famed composer and conductor John Williams), this 25-year-old Los Angeles-based musician’s songs are far more introspective, effortlessly blending ambient, electronic, Krautrock, psychedelia and shoegaze influences into a uniquely visceral listening experience that often mirrors the surrealism of his own collage-based visual artwork.
Like staring at the intricate geometry of a nautilus shell through a rippling aqua lens, Into’s detailed arrangements shimmer across the stereo field with Williams’ breathy, yearning melodies bathed in warm reverb. The gentle, rhythmic percolation of breezy album opener “Gold Lodge” imagines CAN at their most ethereal, as if vying for a release on 4AD Records during the label’s halcyon days. Similarly, Cocteau Twins-esque guitars ring above the pulsing kosmische atmosphere of “Hall of Records” and then later, the 10-plus-minute “Xol Rumi” takes a detour across the Autobahn using Neu!’s motorik precision. Elsewhere, the celestial “Greatest Lives” shuffles through a thick, gooey cloud of synths, while instrumental “The Tears of an Inanimate Object” pays tribute to the spiritually minded explorations of Alice Coltrane and Dorothy Ashby, with astral harp strums guiding the light electronic accompaniment.
From the mysterious, nocturnal drive of first single “World Soul” to the gauzy, space-age funk of “Allaz,” Vinyl Williams nicely blurs the line between melodicism and experimentation, his impressionistic song-craft being as inviting as it is beguiling. In this modern era of shuffled playlists and musically short attention spans, Into is that rare album created to be listened to uninterrupted from beginning to end, and one that is sure to reveal itself again and again after each successive play.
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• Publicity by Terrorbird
• College radio promotion by Terrorbird
• Previously collaborated with Chaz from Toro Y Moi on Trance Zen Dental Spa EP
• Music video for every album track in the works
• Rainbow starburst color vinyl comes in gatefold packaging with free digital download
LA-based Lionel Williams is an internationally exhibited visual artist and musician who’s been releasing music under his Vinyl Williams alias since 2010. As a result of experiencing religious and cultural dissonance growing up in the state of Utah, Williams reacts by creating dream worlds of religious and cultural harmony. It’s through his art—both musical, visual, and the music videos he’s directed for bands like Tears for Fears and Unknown Mortal Orchestra—that Williams projects himself well beyond the stasis of his youth, his metaphysical dream worlds in constant forward motion, with ancient mystical symbols, utopian architecture and exotic locales all enveloped in a rippling, VHS haze of psychedelia. These worlds are uniquely William’s own.
For his third full-length album, Williams explores a world both real and imaginary. Brunei, his second LP for Company Records, follows the flight of an incorporeal being from Xol, the gravity cluster orbiting the star Alnilam, the center of the Orion constellation. The record explores the ideals of peace and harmony with maximal pop tones, shoegaze textures, and krautrock rhythms. The album features collaborations with Toro Y Moi’s Chaz Bundick and Medicine’s Brad Laner.
Vinyl Williams began releasing music in 2010 and following a handful of well-received EPs and singles, his debut album, Lemniscate, appeared in late 2012. Following a South Korean tour with Toro Y Moi, Williams and Bundick collaborated on the Trance Zen Dental Spa EP. Released in late 2014 via BitTorrent (to date it has been downloaded more than one million times), Williams and Bundick weaved sound and visuals together into a highly psychedelic, interactive music experience. In 2015, Vinyl Williams’ second full-length, Into, saw his dreamy avant-pop become something more lucid, with his deliberately smeared musical brushstrokes utilizing far more vivid colors.