Don’t let Cory Williams’ numbers on streaming fool you; though he only has two albums under his belt, his experience is far from novice, and his two albums are nothing to scoff at — contained within his first two LPs lies some of the most self-assured and confident music in any indie artist’s releases, and if the past is to be used as a template for the future, Cory Williams is only getting started. When you refer to his two albums, be sure to always include the caveat that the man only has two albums… so far.
Bird Mouth, released earlier this year, is a brilliant second chapter in the prolific story of Williams’ musical career. Featuring just eight tracks and spanning a mere thirty minutes, the initial impression is a rock-solid one that will leave anyone that listens eager for more, with the brief runtime acting as a benefit to Williams. Audiences will more than likely find themselves listening to the entirety of Bird Mouth more than once as its profound weight kicks down the door to a room listeners never knew they had in the house that is their musical portfolio, delivering something deep yet fleeting. The absence of a longer LP plays into the themes of Bird Mouth as it arrives on the scene and disappears as soon as you think you’re growing to know its tendencies; the eight songs deal with similar narratives among lost love and missed chances. The brilliance of making an album you’ll miss once it’s over so punctual in its brevity is worth applauding on concept alone, but the fact that the songs delivered in the half an hour that Bird Mouth is present are this exceptional is worth a standing ovation.
Upon investigating the origins of Cory Williams, I wasn’t shocked to discover that he called Austin, Texas his hometown. Eclectic indie legends (turned film composers) Explosions in the Sky came from the same place and the semblance between the two acts in the aural and aesthetic display was worth noting; the possibility of seeing Williams’ name attached to a film festival favorite as the film’s composer feels more and more like an extreme probability after Bird Mouth only felt like a further honing of his film-like sensibilities. It might have been the lyrical storytelling that painted such vivid pictures, but Cory Williams succeeded at having each song within his sophomore outing feeling entirely substantial, and never present on the project as a filler track. Each song served a greater purpose and felt like a necessary chapter in a book you’re unable to put down.
Bird Mouth is an exemplary piece of Southern rock and Cory Williams is a name worth knowing, and those who already know it should feel extremely lucky. The future of music is as unpredictable as all things of late, if not even more, but the future of the man behind an album as substantial and memorable as Bird Mouth should be something listeners can feel certain of. The eclectic Texas-based musician and his extraordinary storytelling will certainly only just be starting to take off, and audiences would be wise to heed the call and follow suit.