If you don't already know Jess Williamson, the Austin-born, Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter won't let you forget her. After releasing the triumph that was Sorceress earlier this year, Williamson returns joining up with Meg Duffy, who goes under the alias Hand Habits, to release "Pictures of Flowers."
"Pictures of Flowers" comes as Mexican Summer's sixteenth song of "The Looking Glass Project," a singles series that has seen the likes of Kikagaku Moyo, Ariel Pink, and Tonstartssbandht contribute to the project that focuses on the human condition as reflected through remote connection during this time of uncertainty.
What is far from uncertain is the fashion in which Williamson carries herself vocally. The ability to combine folky, Big Thief-style tracks to incorporating more of a country, Kacey Musgraves vibe to a flat out drony, Mazzy Star kind of dreaminess.
Duffy provides a splendid accompaniment on the slide guitar as they have been enlisted to record with acts such as The War on Drugs and Weyes Blood to touring with Kevin Morby's live band. Woods' multi-instrumentalist and producer Jarvis Taveniere joined on the track as well providing percussion, bass, and mellotron.
"Pictures of Flowers" begins with a steady synth tempo set along with some mellotron strings acting as a rhythmic melody when they are joined by Duffy's slide — which proves to be quintessential filling in the cries that can't be expressed verbally nor vocally.
As Williamson sings of the uncertainty and clarity of quarantine which has brought a realignment of priorities, the scene shifts from a smog-filled metropolis to a paradise of puka shell necklaces, recollecting on the beachside.
The second verse sees the drums hollow out and bring vocals to the forefront, culminating in the second chorus kicking in with additional percussion to provide the waiting calm before the climax to the build. As the mellotron continues to drift in and out with the slide, the aforementioned Mazzy Star sort of dreariness is most prevalent as the track fades with lasting lines from Williamson.
While Williamson has been extremely active in 2020 so far, Hand Habits has yet to release an album since 2019 — both equal reasons to keep your eyes and ears peeled for more.