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As The Moon Rests is a dramatic, urgent, and poetic return to form for A.A. Williams

"As The Moon Rests"

Release date: 07 October 2022
A.A Williams - As The Moon Rests cover
05 October 2022, 00:00 Written by Kate Crudgington

Summoning listeners back into the graceful gloom of her hypnotising, heavy world, A.A. Williams delivers more of her intuitive, tempestuous songwriting on her second album, As The Moon Rests.

Like the cycle of the orb that the record is named after, Williams’ sound waxes and wanes across the 11 tracks, guided by her captivating vocals, ambiguous lyricism and powerful volume fluctuations.

Following on from her exquisite debut album Forever Blue (2020), Williams’ second offering is another poignant collection of thundering, cinematic sounds. Describing As The Moon Rests as “Forever Blue times ten!”, the London-based songwriter has expanded her sound via a full string ensemble (Williams played the string parts solo on her debut) and the extended running time of the record, which clocks in at a hefty 62 minutes. Her debut was released during a fraught and isolated time, making the search for connection that permeated many of the songs more palpable. In 2022, a time that’s no longer branded as “unprecedented”, the search for comfort has altered, perhaps shifting the desired effect of William’s melancholy sounds.

That’s not to dismiss the raw, emotional power of her new work though. As The Moon Rests has maintained much of the introverted intricacy of Forever Blue, but the smoke that shrouds Williams has cleared a little here, and her veil is lifted higher as she is bolder and more assertive in her new work.

From the rippling uncertainty of opening track “Hollow Heart”, to the goosebump-inducing string crescendo of “Pristine”, to the scratchy, evocative reverb of “For Nothing”, to the smouldering, brooding power of “Alone in the Deep”, “Golden” and the epic lament “The Echo” - Williams routinely disarms her listeners with perfectly timed volume shifts and crystalline guitar sounds.

“I can’t stop the violence in my mind” she confesses on “Evaporate”, a heavy extrapolation on the breach of inner thoughts when they eventually rupture the calm surface. Rather than allowing this chink in her emotional armour to consume her, she purges it via powerful crescendos and extended, yearning vocals, delivering lines like this with a composure that belies their severity. The true weight of these feelings are made incarnate via the music on As The Moon Rests, which floods the senses and cauterises the wounds that Williams sings of.

The eponymous track is the most stirring example of this. A murky, unconventional love song, “Is it all so delicate / as I balance hate and love” she muses, across an enthralling and charged soundscape, riling the senses and revelling in a hard-earned, heavy bliss. Elegantly blurring the lines between post-rock, metal and post-classical once again, As The Moon Rests is a dramatic, urgent, poetic return to form for A.A. Williams.

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