HEART & SOUL
STIRRING MUSO RELAUNCHES HIS ALBUM HEARTWOOD ON THE COAST TOMORROW NIGHT
K arl S. Williams is the type of captivating performer who aims straight for the soul.
Music is his bow, disarming vocals his arrow, collective consciousness the target.
Whether the local musician channels his sound through a solo show or as the eccentric frontman for psychedelic band Tsun, he doesn’t hold back.
Inspired by blues greats and folk masterminds alike, Karl is known for digging deep and baring all.
In a live setting, Karl becomes so lost in the music and the moment it appears he’s completely consumed by the sound he creates.
“That part comes naturally ... it’s like reaching a trance state where nothing is a conscious thought; everything is happening on this weird automatic level,” he says.
“It’s my favourite thing about a live performance – the moment when the performer and crowd are transported to another state of consciousness.”
Karl says this possessive feeling – the sheer magic of live music – is heightened by the presence of an audience.
“It’s a really enjoyable experience, especially when you have a crowd of people going there with you. It’s unbeatable,” he says.
“All the audience’s intent focuses on one point. It’s something so unique and powerful, very spiritual and almost religious. Live music has the power to really have a lasting effect.”
Having been a part of the Gold Coast gigging circuit for a few years now, Karl’s talents are well-known to local music buffs.
Well-versed in piano, guitar and banjo, the singersongwriter also dabbles with mandolin, harp, flute and occasionally the kazoo.
Oh, and he absolutely shreds at the mouth trumpet, a vocal technique that imitates the sound of the brass instrument.
Most surprisingly, it wasn’t until Karl turned 19 that he first picked up the guitar, and he only “started to tinker” with the keys five years ago.
“I started listening to Nina Simone and other great pianoplaying artists,” he says.
About a year ago, Karl left his day job as a graphic designer and web developer to immerse himself in music.
Since then, he has released debut solo album Heartwood independently, and more recently, signed to music label Footstomp Records.
“The idea of working with a label wasn’t something I had really chased,” says Karl.
“Midway through this year
THAT PART COMES NATURALLY ... IT’S LIKE REACHING A TRANCE STATE WHERE NOTHING IS A CONSCIOUS THOUGHT
I realised with what I make on gigs it would be hard for me to record another album.” Karl’s label wanted to give
Heartwood the proper release it deserves.
So they sent Karl back to the studio to work on three more songs with Mark Meyers and Yanto Browning.
The re-imagined deluxe version of Heartwood will be launched on the Gold Coast tomorrow night.
Karl will be joined by four musicians: George Carpenter on organ, Jesse Carroll on drums, Daniel Aurora on bass and Crick Boue on guitar.
In the coming months, Karl will tour his forthcoming single
Time Bomb before hitting the road to support labelmates Busby Marou on a national tour.
With a singing style reminiscent of Jeff Buckley’s trembling vocals, Karl is most at home while unleashing his heartfelt tunes behind his keyboard.
Off stage, Karl is a selfconfessed introvert.
“Music has the ability to open me up. It’s a different language.”
Karl S. Williams, Rabbit + Cocoon, tomorrow night. Busby Marou, Darren Middleton, Karl S. Williams, The Soundlounge, August 29.
Karl S. Williams is a gifted Gold Coast musician, who is also the frontman for psychedelic rockers Tsun.