Many may know Joy Williams as one half of the Grammy-winning folk-pop duo Civil Wars. But prior to her time with the Civil Wars, Williams was a contemporary Christian artist who has had been nominated for 11 Dove Awards, and the three records she released on Reunion cumulatively sold more than 250,000 albums. Now, she's stepping out as a solo artist again. On June 2015 she will be releasing "Venus," via Columbia Records.
"Venus" may not return to her Christian music days, but it does contain elements of the Gospel as the songs tell of the human story of one woman's journey out of darkness.Over 11 unstintingly honest songs, she unabashedly recounts what occurred in her life over the past two and a half years. She doesn't try to defend or explain, but instead tells a simple straightforward story of events, sparing no one, especially herself.
Williams describes "Venus" as an emergence from the ashes of her former band. She quotes Eleanor Roosevelt, saying: "I heard a quote once, I think originally by Eleanor Roosevelt, that said, 'A woman is like a bag of tea... you never know how strong she is until she's put in hot water.' When I was writing 'Until the Levee,' I felt like I was swimming in that hot water. Everyone was asking about the abrupt end of The Civil Wars, I was trying to sort out a new rhythm as a new mother, fighting for my marriage which was going through a major overhaul, and reeling over my Dad's terminal cancer diagnosis. I felt like I was up to my eyeballs in it all. There was a battle within myself: I could either let it all drown me, or I could learn to swim."
Over the arc of the album, the listener can feel Williams coming home to herself, after fearlessly excavating all the pain and confusion. In the end she can see her life from a great altitude, able to view her choices as an overarching geography that finally makes sense to her, freeing her to become the woman she needed to be. To find the parts of herself that were broken, becoming stronger and content to just be.
Joy Williams' Venus Track List:
01. Before I Sleep
02. Sweet Love of Mine
03. Woman (Oh Mama)
04. One Day I Will
05. Not Good Enough
06. What a Good Woman Does
07. Until the Levee
08. You Loved Me
09. The Dying Kind
10. Till Forever
11. Welcome Home
Take a listen to "Woman (Oh Mama)" below.