There’s usually a pretty clear distinction between music educators and those who play in bands and record pop music, but sometimes distinctions are meant to be blurred. It takes a special kind of person to be skilled at music in such diverse ways, and you’re going to meet one of those people today with Alan Williams and his brand new music video for “Giving You a Warning.” This latest single comes from his forthcoming Currents record, which is due this Friday via Blue Gentian Records.
Besides recording rock records, Williams is an ivy league professor of music at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, a distinguished fellow with a doctorate in ethnomusicology. You may wonder why a musical academic wants to record pop-rock records. Well, being a professor of music requires that he keep his musical opinions to himself, which really whets his appetite to write, sing, perform, and be creative in a whole, completely different way than teaching.
Along with the release of “Giving You a Warning” comes this comical accompanying video, featuring Williams performing the song, superimposed into all sorts of humorous, unconventional settings. Discussing the song and its origins, Williams states:
“There’s a wonderful place I was staying in Hawaii with a lovely pool, very beautiful, very mellow. But one day the peace was shattered by someone nearby with a boombox. Very non mellow. For some reason, that moment stayed with me for years. The song that came from it leaned borderline predatory, though clearly tongue in cheek, so I figured the video needed to emphasize the comic over the serious. It looks very handmade because it was. But so are some of my favourite videos.”
Currents is a traditional rock record influenced by the times in which we live. Composed through this pandemic era, Williams observed what he viewed as an enormous social upheaval, where societal forces were altering our lives in many unpredictable ways. The album addresses these forces and how they are impacting us individually, slowly breaking us down, and sucking the life out of us.
As a result of his occupation, he perceived the shifting societal forces within the United States in the years leading up to the pandemic, and then when it arrived, things began to shift even more drastically. Williams wrote many of these songs in response to this brewing fear and uncertainty. You can think of Currents not so much as a pandemic record but as a melodic response to our complicated times.
Currents Track Listing:
1. Think of the Night
2. For My Heaven
3. Giving You a Warning
4. Love You To
5. Fall From the Sky
6. Season of the Lottery
7. Before I Wake Up
9. Keeping Time