Son of William is the name given to the collaborative adventures of musicians Hayley and Ben Williams (the two do not share any familial connections). Sharing a passion for acoustic arrangements and stripped-down emotional songwriting, they blend poignant melodies and folksy rhythms much in the same way as bands such as The Civil Wars or Shovels & Rope. There's an earthiness to their camaraderie, a sense of communal experience and perspective that lends their work a lived-in feeling and resolve.
The two first met when they were tutors to one another: Ben was teaching Hayley how to play guitar and Hayley was teaching Ben how to sing. It was during this time that they developed an intense musical relationship -- their own rhythmic inclinations played off each other so well that it seemed only natural for them to team up and see what sounds came bubbling to the surface. Quickly becoming known within the acoustic scene in Manchester where they lived, the band began to experiment with and adapt their acoustic influences into something greater than simple homage.
With each having found success before they met -- Ben had played with bands like Simply Red and Chic while Hayley had found platinum-selling success in Sweden and Norway -- they were well aware of the parameters of their individual creativities and allowed the other person to tap into that melodic potential. Through a course of sparse instrumentation and heart-on-sleeve lyrical insight, they slipped into the deepest parts of folk music's history to develop their own loving and relevant take on a sound which so many people have attempted to illuminate.
The band shared their debut EP, "Colour of Love," this past Friday and celebrated its release with a launch party at Manchester's The Whiskey Jar just a few days prior.
The band has now shared a video for the title track to that EP, and it's a fittingly bare visual to a song that revels in its intimacy. Filmed by Matt Jeffrey, the clip finds the two artists performing the song in a studio lit by strung lights and bathed in an atmospheric warmth. Their voices entangle with Ben's acoustic guitar as they then echo from one wall to the next. It's a raw and bracingly emotional performance that perfectly accentuates the song's delicate but fierce nature. The music may alight softly on your shoulder, but the words aim for the deepest parts of your heart.