Dry Williams is a solo project for Hazen Price. His recent release Volume One showcases a boatload of talent from the twenty-one-year old. There are only four tracks and each one bristles with a slightly different shade of style.
The EP starts with “Almonte,” which was an interesting choice as the opener because it was the most atmospheric and melancholy of the four songs. That being said the song is quite beautiful. The music is atmospheric enough to fall in line with something you might hear from Windy & Carl.
The vocals, which follow the guitar melody are the anchor that make the song work. It sounds as if the only elements in the song are guitar, vocals and the reverb and delay effects, which are used liberally but benefit the delivery. Up next is “Trawlers” which is a full, fleshed-out song that contains elements of folk and blues. I was vaguely reminded of M. Ward when it came to the vocal delivery. It’s a straightforward song without many surprises but does contain nostalgic, original lyrics. The organ was a nice touch.
“A Month in G Major” contains an exceptional vocal performance. Price really nails it and manages to have a good amount of melancholy and tender warmth in his voice. It’s emotionally resonant with great music to boot. The horns are the cherry on top that could very well make “A Month in G Major” the highlight of the EP. Last up is “Hector” which you can hear some resemblance to The Smiths and Jesus and Mary Chain. Price does another exceptional job singing and avoiding typical lyrical clichés.
Volume One is certainly enjoyable in a number of ways but it felt rather subdued. I would have liked to hear one or two more explosive moments and some of the songs felt that they could have been even more fleshed out.
At twenty-one-years old Price is just getting started. The songs on Volume One are indicative of better things to come but these four tracks certainly aren't anything to scoff at.
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