Artist of the Week #0029: Van William

This week's Artist of the Week is Van William, who's album 'Countries' is released today, and he heads out on tour next month with First Aid Kit, while also headlining London's Omeara in March.

Van William is a man with a history, and a story to tell. Having toured the world from the age of twenty, first with his band Port O’Brien, followed by his second group WATERS. While all of this happened, he managed to find time to work on his father's fishing boat.

But then everything slowly dissolved. His father declared retirement from his commercial fishing, and his personal and musical relationships also disappeared. Van William reached breaking point, or as he puts it;

“I was freaked out”

But with this gave him a new purpose, a new music focus and direction. And from that came 'Countries'. A fantastic debut album for an artist, it hits the spot with romance and sadness, touching on subjects of what was and what is now. It takes us an the emotional ride that Van William himself has experienced over the past year, with it being so very open and heartfelt.

These songs sound exactly like I feel” says Van, “restless, reeling, heartbroken and ready to burst. I grew up on Fugazi and Plastic Ono Band; The Lonesome Crowded West and On the Beach. I wanted to make a record that unambiguous, that digs its hooks in deep and doesn’t let go”.

His album 'Countries' is out 19th January 2018 via Fantasy Records / Concord Music. And he will be touring the UK at the following dates with First Aid Kit, along with a solo headline show in London.

24th Feb - Glasgow, 02 Academy (w/ First Aid Kit)
26th Feb - Manchester, Albert Hall (w/ First Aid Kit)
27th Feb - Manchester, Albert Hall (w/ First Aid Kit)
1st Mar - London, The Roundhouse (w/ First Aid Kit)
2nd Mar - London, The Roundhouse (w/ First Aid Kit)
3rd Mar - London, Omeara (headline show)

Watch this short making of ‘Countries

Words by Ant Adams