Kathryn Williams (born 15 February 1974, Liverpool, England) is an English singer-songwriter who to date has released 14 studio albums, written and arranged for a multitude of artists, and was nominated for the 2000 Mercury Music Prize.
Williams was also involved in a charity collaboration album, Colours Are Brighter (2006). She contributed the song, Night Baking, which has since been difficult to find online, as no YouTube video of it exists and the lyric websites contain the song name, but with lyrics to the song Naive by a The Kooks instead, for no clear reason.
In 2013, Williams was commissioned by New Writing North to produce songs in celebration of 50th anniversary of the publication of Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar. She performed five of the resulting tunes – "When Nothing Meant Less", "Battleships", "The Mind Has Its Own Place", "Tango With Marco", and "Part Of Us" – at the 10th Durham Book Festival. Teaming up with Ed Harcourt as producer, she released Hypoxia on 15 June 2015.
In 2015 Emji, a finalist on the French TV talent show Nouvelle Star, won the 11th series singing "Toboggan (You Are The One)", a song written by Williams, David Saw and John Quarmby, which was her first single.
A multi CD box set of Kathryn's solo work from 1998-2015 encompassing 10 previously released albums with 10 further CDs of bonus material was released on One Little Indian 9 August 2019.
Williams collaborated with friend / former member of punk band Delicate Vomit, Anna Spencer, on a new project entitled The Crayonettes. Williams and Spencer, both tired of the same old children's CD format, decided to make their own record using their own children as an in house focus group. They released the album Playing Out: Songs For Children & Robots from One Little Indian (6 September 2010). The Guardian wrote that "Pirates On the Bus" "sounds like the Moomins playing The Slits."
The Pond consisted of Williams alongside Simon Edwards, formerly of Fairground Attraction and fellow singer/songwriter Ginny Clee, releasing their self-titled CD in 2012.
BBC.co.uk called it "An elegant, charming and quietly profound record", and MOJO magazine "A whirling magimix of hypnotic, funky loops, vintage beats and sensuous harmonies".
Songwriting and art
Williams has been involved in writing retreats and sessions that enable songwriters to share, collaborate and produce ideas as well as learn new skills and techniques. Firstly tutoring at such events alongside Tom McRae, Samantha Parton and Chris Difford whose own retreats Williams has attended. As a result, Williams has established her own writing residential courses which took place in 2014-16.
Williams was given a New Writing North commission as poet in residence at Alnwick Garden in 2006. An audio CD Words from the Garden was released in 2007 featuring writings from Williams, Nev Clay, Emma McGordon and Anna Woodford set in a soundscape by Caroline Beck, with music by Williams and Clay.
As well as creating artwork for her debut album and Two, her collaboration with Neill MacColl, Williams produced the cover art for David Rotheray's Life Of Birds album. and Mardous' "Revolution Over The Phone" single.
She was selected as a judge for the British Poetry Society's Ted Hughes Award for Poetry 2016 in conjunction with poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy... She also performed specially commissioned material for 'A Poet Laureate's Peterloo' commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Peterloo massacre featuring Carol, Clare Shaw, Mark Pajak, presented by Ian McMillan and broadcast on BBC Radio 4, 11 August 2019