Tiffany Williams is a coal miner’s daughter hailing from the Appalachian mountains, which are pictured on the front cover of her new EP ‘When You Go’. The grit and guts of her upbringing are in every strummed guitar string and sighed vocal of her music. Home is never far from her mind, or her pen. Containing songs and stories rooted deep in the heart of the place that built her, these five songs are an illuminating introduction to a promising songwriter.
‘All the houses look the same,’ she sings beginning the EP with the descriptive detail that is central to the appeal of these songs. She may curse the place she is from sometimes but it defines her all the same. The land becomes part of her identity, no matter where she goes she can’t leave it behind. On the cover she draws the picture of the town for us – a colourful haven of nature and beauty, untouched by time. Her musical palette across the EP is equally traditional: a quietly haunting guitar, sorrowful strings by Ellie Miller, banjo played by Taylor Shuck, and producer Britton Patrick Morgan adds dulcimer. Simple folk instruments are all she needs to convey the spirit and songs of her soul.
On Big Enough to Be a Mountain she relives a past relationship. Memory of her pain cannot be escaped. Grief becomes as big as the mountains she grew up in the shadow of. She knows she should have moved on but when is love ever that simple? On ‘The Waiting’ she yearns for someone, using the imagery of the natural world to evoke her emotions.
Williams is also a fiction writer and you can hear that in songs like You Were Mine, which is a character study, reflecting on how someone ended up so ‘bitter and mean’. She portrays this person as reckless and selfish – everything she doesn’t want to become. And yet she still claims them as her own. She understands and sings the truth of complex and real human relationships.
The final track When I’m Gone is a tear-jerking letter of goodbye, not just to the EP but to life itself. On her imagined deathbed she says farewell, contemplating her life and regrets. I’ve had more good days than bad, she concludes, nicely bringing to an end this hushed and ultimately hopeful collection of songs.