There is certain music, bands and musicians that are meant to be in your life. I believe this to my core. Certain musicians will call to your soul and will be with you for your lifetime. For me, Joy Williams is one of those musicians
I discovered The Civil Wars off their self-titled second album and it changed my life. When they announced their split shortly after the second albums release, I was heartbroken and left thinking. Wait, that can’t be it. I brought their first album to console myself
I didn’t want my love affair with this band to be over – I didn’t want to be a summer romance. I hoped solo albums would be gifted sooner rather than later
June 2015 I got my wish. Joy Williams released her solo album.
Before, during and after the split of the band, Joys life was thrown into chaos for both good and bad, with the passing of father and the birth of her son. The earth shifted and in a way Joy had to be reborn. Her sound was also.
She released her album Venus – The Roman goddess of love, beauty, fertility, sex and desire, In other words. All things feminine. Which is a perfect way to describe Venus, as an album. It’s raw yet soft and venerable, extremely personal and shows amazing strength at times.
She was very candid about the songs and what they were about. Her child, her father and the re-connection to her husband, reconnecting to herself and the fact that she wasn’t prefect, yet still could be loved.
The first single release was Woman (Oh Mama) Joy co-wrote with Matt Morris and Audra Mae which was inspired by the infamous drum circles of Venice Beach. Giving it a primal feel. A song that really stood out for me was ‘What A Good Woman Does’ with had equal parts of sadness and strength and Sweet Love of Mine and Welcome Home – written for her son Miles are too beautiful for words
“I didn’t want to write in a way that felt like a therapy record,” she said. “I wanted people to be able to find their own stories in it, too, so that it could be a conversation rather than just a monologue.”
An acoustic version of the album was released a year later. I didn’t hesitate to buy it, even though I had the previously release songs. I remember listening to the first album thinking the song would be amazing stripped back and bare . It also had one or two newbies. Venus and Someone To Love You.
Joy wasn’t finished with those songs and the songs weren’t finished with her either. She would still hum them in her kitchen a year after. She still had something to give, something to learn.
The Civil Wars final concert, as it turned out to be was the Camden Roundhouse in London. It’s fitting that Joy’s first concert as a solo artist was Assembly Hall in London. Making the rebirth from girl to woman in the same amazing city.
Venus is a journey – a journey to somewhere new, safe, comforting and full of endless possibilities. Just like the woman in question herself
Find Joy Williams Here