A few days ago, a friend of mine posted an album cover on Instagram with the caption, “Holly Williams is everything.” Since I am always looking for new music to listen to, I looked her up on Spotify and sat and listened to all three of her albums straight through. My friend was right — Holly Williams is everything. Everything good about music and about inspired, story-telling country. Everything I want on a particularly late, introspective night or day full of promise. Everything that makes me stop working, even while in mid-sentence of an article I’m writing, and sit back, close my eyes, and listen to her truth. Everything.
The granddaughter of one of the most influential singer/songwriters of the 20th century, Hank Williams, Sr. and daughter of Southern rocker singer/songwriter Hank Williams, Jr., you don’t have to look any further than Holly Williams‘ own family to see where her influences lie. When she was 17 years old, she began playing her father’s guitar and writing her own songs. Right after graduating from school, she decided to pursue music passionately, recording an EP and booking herself all over Nashville. It’s safe to say that this self-starter’s tenacity paid off, and I am privileged to have been able to come across her and listen to her music, because I’m pretty sure her 2013-released album “The Highway” has instantaneously become one of my favorites.
Usually when I’m listening to a new artist or band, I start a list of some of my favorite songs to go back and listen to again once the album has finished. I am a stickler for listening to albums in their entirety, especially the first time, because I believe that is how the artist meant for me to listen to it. Albums tell a story, and you wouldn’t flip through random pages in a book and say you’ve read it. As I listened to Holly Williams’ first two albums, “The Ones We Never Knew” and “Here With Me,” I came out with a few songs here and there that I really liked and went back to a few times. But my list suddenly grew exponentially as I listened through “The Highway.” With 11 songs on the album, 9 wound up on my favorites list.
The three songs I have included in this post are from “The Highway,” but please, for the love of everything that is good about Holly Williams, please do yourself the great service of listening to that album in its entirety. It is an absolutely beautiful collection that will stay with you, and will make you keep your ears open for Holly Williams and what she will do next.