Lucinda Williams Is Ready To Push People's Buttons With Her New Album

Written by on April 21, 2020

Does heartbreak make for higher artwork? It’s an fascinating query and one which Lucinda Williams has grappled with during the last a number of years. 

It began when the singer-songwriter discovered her soulmate: Tom Overby. She and Overby moved in collectively, received engaged and finally wed in 2009. Williams known as it a “big turning level” in her life.

However shortly afterward, individuals began asking: “Is she nonetheless going to have the ability to write songs now?” The query made Williams doubt her skills, however it additionally pressured her to achieve past her songwriting consolation stage.

“I used to be sort of like, OK, I’ll present you, this can be a problem. I’m going to indicate you I can do that, and it proved to be actually liberating,” Williams advised HuffPost. 

Williams was in a reflective temper throughout our cellphone interview in March, a month earlier than her new album, “Good Souls Higher Angels,” was resulting from be launched. Holed up at dwelling due to coronavirus social distancing measures, she was attempting to remain as occupied as doable.

“I believe lots of people of individuals really feel like you have got all this additional spare time, so you ought to be doing all this different stuff like cleansing the home, exercising,” she mentioned. “However then you definately don’t really feel prefer it, so then you definately beat your self up since you’re not getting something carried out. “It’s bizarre.”

Regardless of all the things happening, Williams, 67, nonetheless was in a comparatively completely happy place. A spot that’s made her surprise over time whether or not she might stretch her lyrics past love and loss. 

“To be sincere, it was a take a look at as a result of I’ve been in different relationships earlier than the place I’d sort of lose that a part of myself. … And if I wasn’t going to have the ability to be my artistic regular self, I’d run as quick as I might within the different course.”

Williams had to postpone her tour because of the coronavirus.

Williams needed to postpone her tour due to the coronavirus.

Williams ended up pushing past her limits on this new album, tackling present occasions with the track “Man With out a Soul,” during which she alludes to President Donald Trump. 

“We’re dwelling in unprecedented instances,” Willams mentioned. “We’ve by no means had an individual like this within the White Home earlier than. And I imply, simply all of the fallout from that ― and it pisses you off. Persons are pissed off and offended, pissed off.” 

Williams mentioned the state of affairs drove her to put in writing extra topical songs and, dare she say, even protest songs. 

“It proved to be actually liberating, and in order that was sort of step one with writing ‘Soldier Track,’ which is an anti-war track,” she mentioned. “And studying learn how to write about these topics with out it being that apparent factor like, OK, everyone, let’s maintain palms and are available collectively and that sort of factor.”

She thought loads about Bob Dylan whereas penning this new physique of labor, noting she grew up together with his music. 

“After I was beginning out as a songwriter and studying learn how to write and all that, to me it was much more difficult. These sorts of songs are more durable to put in writing. And I believe different songwriters would possibly agree since you don’t wish to sound too hokey or corny.” 

Williams doesn’t cease at politics on “Good Souls Higher Angels.” She additionally sings about psychological well being in “Massive Black Practice.”

“The massive black cloud of melancholy, that sort of factor. That one’s actually been affecting. … It makes me nearly cry each time I sing it,” she mentioned. “A number of individuals advised me that that track made them cry.”

Williams mentioned she’s not apprehensive about being blunt in her music, as she’s at all times “appreciated to push peoples buttons.” 

“I take into account myself an artist first, in the identical approach that we have a look at painters and confer with them as artist. Artwork is about self-expression. So it’s going to piss some individuals off.” 

In the end, Williams needed to put in writing songs that transfer individuals. It was the identical drive that pushed her all through her four-decade profession ― from writing her debut album, 1979’s “Ramblin’ on My Thoughts,” to 1997′s Grammy-winning album, “Automobile Wheels on a Gravel Street” and past. 

“I’m not writing for the radio. I’m not writing for Music Row. I wish to make it palatable, so it reaches different individuals,” Williams mentioned. 

Williams mentioned she hasn’t misplaced her love for songwriting and performing. 

“I really feel like I’m type of an anomaly at this level as a result of individuals appear so shocked and say, ‘Wow, you’re this age and you continue to have the vitality and spunk that you simply’ve at all times had.’ I don’t actually give it some thought that a lot. Nothing’s actually modified that a lot for me. I imply, I can’t think about not doing what I’m nonetheless doing, you realize? … It has continued to develop over time. I’m a kind of sorts of artists who’re gradual and regular sort of factor.” 

“Good Souls Higher Angels” is due out April 24. 

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