For Denver Williams, following his muse wherever she may lead is the best inspiration.
That, and a pandemic.
As part of the downtime, Williams said he did a lot of self-reflection and he also experimented, leading to the dizzying array of sonics contained on The Blooming Eye. Produced by Peter Wierenga (Tornup, Vogue Machine, Chillamundo) at his home studio The Bit, the 11 tracks bounce “all over the place,” Williams said, “and I don’t know what to call it. The genre goes from hip-hop to Americana to what-the-fuck?”
To encapsulate all of the ideas blooming in Williams’ brain, a long list of killer players from North Texas and beyond were called in. The farthest afield hail from Austin (Samantha Knight, who shares vocals with Williams on three songs) and Houston (Adam Thein, who plays bass on several tracks plus adding piano and programming). The rest live closer to home. From Fort Worth, Johndavid Bartlett does voicework, Ian Jeffery plays synth and handles some vocals, Burton Lee plays some pedal steel, and BK Lovell and Kris Luther serve up some bass. Denton’s Clayton Norris (Vogue Machine) adds a little synth, and Dallas’ Zach Mayo plays percussion. And that’s just to name a few.
“Every person that worked on the record really stepped up and blew me away,” Williams said. “They brought colors to the record that really make it what it is, and they also happen to be some of the warmest people I’ve met in life, so the process was amazing. I’m thankful to have worked with such diverse and talented people.”
While most of the songs are new and have never been released, there are other, older tracks that have been reworked to fit the album that was mastered by Thein (Post Animal, Kainalu).
The Blooming Eye is set to be released on Friday, Dec. 10, with a party at MASS with no official lineup planned just yet. Williams has been releasing material bit by bit as teasers, including a video for “Cement and Plastic,” directed by Jessica Waffles, and another for the track “Any Other Name,” produced by Coffee Pot Films.
“In the music industry climate, it’s very difficult to get someone to take the time to listen to a whole album, which I prefer, but most people aren’t doing that, and very few people aren’t able to digest a whole album,” Williams said. “As opposed to offering a whole 11 songs, people may be too busy to take the time to listen and have a favorite song or have the time to like anything on it.”
Williams is 35 but has been making music since he was 10 years old. He may be best known as the frontman for psych-alt-rockers Chillamundo or as a solo artist touring the country with famed local troubadour Vincent Neil Emerson.
“Even though I have always had different groups going, I’ve been making music under my own name the whole time, too,” Williams said. “It just made the most sense to me to put this record out using my name.”
YouTube is home to several other music videos and videos of Williams at work in the studio or onstage.
The album will be available digitally and on CD with a chance of a vinyl release.
“The people, places, and things that music has led me to have been interesting,” Williams said.” I am still curious to see what is next.”