Soft Swells front man Tim Williams dropped his first full length debut solo release under the band name Quiet Canyons. His album, of the same title, is a soft rumble of an album with a heavy acoustic sound.
Like echoes ricocheting through a canyon, Williams captures the intangible element of self-reflection — where thoughts ripple through the brain, some getting stronger like sound waves reflected off a surface while others quickly disappear.
While 2020 was a hard year for everyone, it was a mix of deep emotional moments for Williams including the birth of his second daughter and his fourth heart surgery.
Elements of both these highs and lows find themselves in ‘Quiet Canyons’ where at times there is a nagging tension and others a subtle release.
Opening with the single “We Overflow,” Williams pairs a slightly nostalgic melody with more somber lyrics, capturing the strange atmosphere of the riots in Los Angeles, a demonstration that ended up being a mix of things but ultimately showed people’s willingness to push back and “overflow.”
In “Black Tides,” he laments over generational selfishness and the lack of foresight to see how our indulgences will affect the generations after us.
From one’s own personhood, the feelings we sometimes can’t control to the world and how each individual has a responsibility to it, Williams reflects on how we’ve sometimes got it right, and then other times we’re oh so wrong.
Capturing the ups and downs of his life and the world he sees around him, ‘Quiet Canyons’ takes us to similar peaks and valleys.
“I wasn’t trying to write an album, I was just trying to stay sane amongst a world that is coming apart at the seams,” said Williams. “I was thinking about my future and the mess ahead my kids will have to one day sort out if we can’t. There is really no light at the end of the tunnel for this record, we are still deep within it.”
Words: Patti Sanchez