Scratch the Surface: Available from 26th february
With her brand new record, Eve Williams channels the events of her inspiring life story into eleven remarkable songs, produced over a vast distance.
“An artist of considerable sophistication”
— The Musician Journal, UK
— Moya Brennan
An album bursting with heart, resolve and passion. Eve Williams’ fourth LP, Scratch The Surface, showcases the songwriter’s astounding technical ability, powerhouse vocals and lyrical fortitude across eleven tracks that encompass a range of moods. From the spritely acoustics of the infectious Walking on Water, the searing lead guitar-driven I Dodged a Bullet, and the tender simplicity of Quiet Friday, culminating in the record’s epic, emotive closer I Walk Through Fire.
Crafted by Williams in Bangor, Northern Ireland with the remote assistance of producer and multi-instrumentalist Steve Goodie – himself a noted singer/songwriter and the compere of Nashville’s legendary Bluebird Cafe – the album lays bare the emotional weight of Eve’s tumultuous life. From falling into a diabetic coma at the age of four, looking after her father after he was rendered disabled, after being struck by a hit and run driver when she was seven and later developing rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 14, Williams’ experiences inform every second of Scratch The Surface’s runtime, expressing both her pain, and resilience. Through her music, Eve seeks to inspire those struggling with chronic illness to seize their dreams, and be who they want to be.
Beyond the often painful events of her past, Eve has faced difficulty within the framework of the music industry. She recently did battle with Spotify, after they mechanically de-listed one of her tracks, due to the labelling of some of her followers as bots. Williams vocally defended her rights, and those of other artists, to not be penalised for activity beyond her control. This opened up a deeper conversation about artist rights within the context of the now-vital streaming world, something Eve is keen to discuss in light of her experiences.
In 2011, Eve left her former career to pursue her intense passion for music-making. She moved to Bath and gained a Masters in Music for Songwriting. Since then, Eve has been prodigiously working as a professional songwriter across the industry, penning for artists as diverse as The X Factor’s Holly Tandy and Northern Irish popstar JC Stuart. Plaudits have come thick and fast for her own work, too, with Maverick Country bestowing praise upon her “mature songwriting”, while the first lady of Celtic music Moya Brennan was taken aback by Eve’s vocal prowess and songsmithery, dubbing her work “gorgeous”. Eve has been twice highlighted as a one to watch by the prestigious Nashville Songwriters Association.
In making Scratch the Surface, Eve overcame the restrictions of lockdown to harness the modern capabilities of remote collaboration, working with Steve at a distance of nearly 4,000 miles. Together, they captured Eve’s adept songwriting dexterity, from stately piano ballads, warm folk and straight-up, rollocking country rock. In Steve’s words: “Recording 'virtually' is 99% as good (and as fun) as doing it in person. Working together in real time from across the sea is a breeze, with no loss in audio quality in the final product."
Story written by Andy Price, former Managing Editor at Music Tech