“Unsuddenly” Available Now
PLAINFIELD, N.J. – Epiphanies are a rare thing, so a beautifully-crafted song about an epiphany is a true gift indeed. Will James, whose journey of self-discovery is the reason his debut album Unsuddenly even exists, documents the quiet, insightful moment of breakthrough in the album’s title track, “Unsuddenly”. “This is a song about the moment of the breakdown of personality and a new breaking through…what it feels like just as it is beginning,” says James. “I spent so much time with the feeling that things wouldn’t work out or come together for me… and over 10 years the façade slowly crumbled, and what was left behind the paint and porcelain of my external life was me, the unknown me, the first me, the me who this song is dedicated to”. The song is delicately put together, burnished violins supporting a hopeful vocal from a transformed James, using his mellow high baritone sounding at times like a combination of Tom Waits and Elvis Costello – to add subtle power to his emotionally charged lyrics.
James was born on February 25, 2004, the night he experienced a psychological break down and personality breakthrough. “In one moment, my whole life changed,” says James. “I became aware of myself from a different perspective, like a door opening to a new reality. I think it belongs to the worlds of conversion, satori and epiphany, something deeply personal and life changing. It was like I realized
I had lived much of my life in a dream and was suddenly seeing myself for the first time.” After this breakthrough, he began to use music to express emotions, a daunting task for someone who had never played guitar before. “I found an empty room at a local church and sat there day after day trying to express my emotions with guitar sounds and lyrics,” says James. “The creativity had always been there hidden away within me just not listened to seriously. But within nine months of the breakdown, I had 20-30 partial songs. Still these were only projects in sounds and emotions. I didn’t know anything about music or what to do with the songs.”
He immersed himself in song writing, voice and guitar lessons. “Slowly over a couple of years I put structure to the music and, with the help of a songwriting coach, learned to finish the songs.” The next step was to record. James teamed with his music teachers and enlisted the talents of Tony Maimone at Studio G in Brooklyn and Kieran Kelly, of the Buddy Project, the studio Sufjan Stevens used for his award winning Illinoise record and The Avalanche. Rob Moose (Sufjan Stevens, Antony and the Johnsons), Matt Johnson (Jeff Buckley), Chad Clark & Jean Cooke (Beauty Pill), Will Stratton, Arthur Fiacco (Pixies), CJ Manierieri (The National), and Aaron Lee Tasjan (Madison Square Gardeners/New York Dolls) became involved in the sessions that produced Unsuddenly. “Interacting with musicians of such high caliber introduced me to the depth of skill attainable in music. When they told me how much they loved my own music, I was simply blown away!”
James shaped Unsuddenly to tell the story of his life transition, from troubled relationships and dissatisfaction with a corporate suburban lifestyle into anxiety, depression and loss and finally into a breakdown and resulting new awareness. “The songs are a first-hand description of the feelings and thoughts I went through in the process of life crisis, traumatic change and resulting breakthrough. I was basically undone by life events and writing about it and singing about it was a way of acknowledging the difficulties and learning from them.”
Source- Green Light Go