“strange, elusive, and haunting.” Theirbatedbreath
“Brighton’s Gemma Williams’ enchanting solo masterpieces are laced with lo-fi murder folk and droning harps” David Newbury / The Independent
“This Woodpecker Wooliams album is (…) superb. It’s (…) superb in the way an album I heard by Smog decades ago was superb: mysterious, drenched in ennui and torpor.. It has a heart. It has soul.” Everett True
A resident of Brighton, a keeper of bees, all round naturophile and lover of Russian Dolls, WOODPECKER WOOLIAMS, aka singer-songwriter Gemma Williams has an unnerving, sweet tremolo voice. Her songs are unusual, modern + intriguing. Originally comprised of vocals and harp, the odd bell, chime + whistle they have more recently begun to encompass an altogether fuller, electronic, droney sound.
Bold and fearless, live she delivers an alluring, understatedly dramatic set.
The album takes as its springboard a harsh life experience, then journeys through an exploration of passivity and violence, responsibility
and blame, gender roles, personal and familial histories. The songs are always thoroughly compelling, dark but never miserable. From both sides of both fences she looks at questions of identity, female hysteria and male aggression.
“I didn't set out to explore these ideas. Each song came via a bird that had a story to tell. A bit like a reverse Disney animation - rather than anthropomorphising animal characters, these songs are kind of how it might be like if people were aviomorphised, or if the birds were in human bodies. Bird's eye views... So they're the bird's songs really. My life is changing/has changed so much over the course of making this album, surprising me, over and over”