180-gram LP featuring "The Trouble With Wanting"
Former member of the Civil Wars teams with Milk Carton Kids' Kenneth Pattengale for unplugged album
Joy Williams isn't afraid to take pauses: in life, on stage, or even now. "Time is a messy thief who leaves hints everywhere that you can never catch. I want to play with it, and not be afraid of it," Williams says.
For the past few years, the singer-songwriter has been navigating those hints: through the dissolution of her Grammy-winning duo, the Civil Wars, through the loss of her father to cancer, through a move to Los Angeles and back to Tennessee, where she's lived since the age of 17. And now, through the wait for a baby: a ticking clock of nine long months that lent themselves to the recording of her forthcoming LP, Front Porch.
Produced by Kenneth Pattengale of the Milk Carton Kids, it was recorded earlier in her pregnancy, benefitting both from the pressure of the most preternatural sort of deadline and from growth, both physically and metaphorically.
"There is an energy that is very creative in having a baby," Williams says (a few months after this interview with Rolling Stone, she will give birth to a girl named Poppy Lou). "It gives a sense of urgency on top of all the creative energy. Cellularly, your body is experiencing something really different. Everything you are feeling is elevated. And you have a time-stamped sense of urgency."
Working with writers such as Natalie Hemby, Liz Rose, Caitlyn Smith, Jon Randall and Emily Shackelton, Williams found herself drifting toward music that reminded her more of where she got her start (in the gospel world) as well as the type of acoustic, folk-driven emotions of the Civil Wars' two LPs — essentially songs that could be played on a front porch, no plugging in required.
|2. Front Porch|
|3. When Does a Heart Move On|
|4. All I Need|
|5. The Trouble with Wanting|
|6. No Place Like You|
|1. One and Only|
|2. When Creation Was Young|
|3. Preacher’s Daughter|
|4. Hotel St. Cecilia|
|5. Be With You|
|6. Look How Far We’ve Come|