Last month, the country-folk singer songwriter Jess Williamson released the great new album Sorceress. Today, she’s followed it up with a non-album song that might be as good as anything on Sorceress. Williamson wrote during the early days of quarantine. The first lines of the song say a whole lot: “If it’s the end of Los Angeles, guess I’m not gonna be a star/ If it’s the end of traveling, where we gonna sing and play guitar?”
Williamson sings and plays guitar on “Pictures Of Flowers,” and she gets some help from some very talented friends. Hand Habits’ Meg Duffy — who released the excellent album placeholder last year — plays electric guitar, while Woods and Purple Montains’ Jarvis Taveniere plays bass, drums, and Mellotron. The three musicians recorded the song remotely, and now they’ve released it as part of Mexican Summer’s new Looking Glass series, which has recently featured new songs from people like Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Ariel Pink, and Bedouine.
Williamson is donating all Bandcamp profits from “Pictures Of Flowers” to Harriet’s Apothecary, a Brooklyn healing village dedicated to helping marginalized people. The song is utterly gorgeous, and you can hear it and read what Williamson has to say about it below.
In a press release, Williamson says:
“Pictures of Flowers” is a song that speaks to the fear and uncertainty I felt in the early days of the Quarantine, as well as the clarity gained and realignment in priorities I’ve been experiencing over the last few months. I feel like a different person today than I was in January. Initially, being forced to cancel the tour dates in support of my new album had me reflecting on how to move forward with my career. What was the point anyway? My musical ambition began to feel hollow in the face of a global pandemic. I spent most days alone, going on long walks around my eerily quiet neighborhood. Then, when the police murdered George Floyd, these empty streets filled with protestors. This uprising has been a long time coming. From where I’m sitting, this seems like an apocalypse in the truest sense of the word — an unveiling. We’re seeing, firsthand, the People tear down the Tower to build new structures. “Pictures of Flowers” means something different to me now from when I first wrote it. Here’s to continuing to learn, listen, grow, and evolve.
You can get “Pictures Of Flowers” at Bandcamp. Sorceress is out now on Mexican Summer.