April 18, 2022

William William Rodgers: William William Rodgers Sings the Yellow Pages

English folk artist William William Rodgers (yes, his artist name is a reference to a line from John Cale's Paris 1919) offers a full-course meal of carefully crafted orchestral pop on his debut album William William Rodgers Sings the Yellow Pages. Mixing wit and joy with sadness and melancholy, he finds a way to make small things into events with universal happenings. Whether he goes out to sea with a friend (Gone Shrimpin') or describes a girl urging her lover to look away, when she is in tatters at her birthday, with smudged mascara and smelling of factor 50 (Are We Still On?). His way with words always enables him to turn it into a poem set to music. 77 Walking Sticks is a dead ringer for this year's best putdown song: "I thought you'd been buried // fathoms deep in my diary // like a first year crush or common room grudge".

He has been told that he sounds a bit like Robert Wyatt in the past, which is kind of accurate. There is also a hint of Nick Drake and T.E. Yates in there. Rodgers is quintessentially English: quirky but in control. Rodgers is a well-read singer, who would have been huge in the early '70s. Surrounded by a top-shelf instrumentalists this album will find its way to small by vocal niche of music lovers, who will be going "I told you so" when the rest of the world finally catches up, after autotune and its ilk are as dated as '80s electronic drums.

William William Rodgers: guitar, vocals
Pete Churchill: accordion, backing vocals
Ben Muirhead: string bass
Beth Bellis: viola (1, 4, 8)
Rachel Nicholas: viola (7)
Alicia Gardener-Trejo: flute (6)
Dom MacMillan-Scott: classical guitar (7)
Eddy Hewitt: percussion
Josh Herring: arrangements

William William Rodgers: William William Rodgers Sings the Yellow Pages

William William Rodgers Sings the Yellow Pages is a self-released album. Buy it from his website.

  1. Are We Still On?
  2. Gone Shrimping
  3. The Slow Train
  4. Mermaid Tattoo
  5. Bleak Hut
  6. 77 Walking Sticks
  7. Sigh
  8. If I Die Before You

» William William Rodgers on Facebook

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