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Rebecca Williams’ mother was profoundly deaf, and her father played music in the ’60s.

February 3, 2010

Of Pixar and politics

Rebecca Williams heads into animal territory on her new EP

Rebecca Williams is a 25-year-old Gemini from Indian Hills who hates the No. 3 in succession. She occasionally travels, as she did to record her EP The Lion & The Unicorn at Lexington’s Shangri-La studios with producer/engineer Duane Lundy (Ben Sollee, Brigid Kaelin). She sometimes travels farther than that, having toured all over the States for most of the year. Last week, she began the Three Seas Tour, which stops at the Monkey Wrench Thursday where she’ll open for Matthew Ryan.

LEO: Lions or unicorns?

Rebecca Williams: Unicorns, always. It is best put by Marianna Mayer, author of “The Unicorn and The Lake”: “The unicorn is the only fabulous beast that does not seem to have been conceived out of human fears. In even the earliest references, he is fierce yet good, selfless yet solitary, but always mysteriously beautiful. He could be captured only by unfair means, and his single horn was said to neutralize poison.”

LEO: Do you come from a musical family?
RW: Ironically, my mother is profoundly deaf. My father was very musical, though. I grew up with him singing opera while making breakfast on Saturday mornings. He was in a Kingston Trio-like band in the ’60s.

LEO: What were your artistic goals for the album?
RW: With The Lion and The Unicorn EP, my goal was to get away from the stereotypical sound of the singer-songwriter. I wanted to beef up the songs, make them more atmospherical and cinematic, and I was lucky enough to work with Duane Lundy, who is the man at atmosphere and cinema.

LEO: Three desert island albums — i.e. what you’d take if stranded.
RW: Stevie Wonder’s Definitive Collection, Ella Fitzgerald’s Pure Ella and Debussy’s Greatest Hits.

LEO: Any non-musical inspirations?
RW: I’m inspired by the utterly complex intangibility of human emotion and intellect. I’m inspired by the color of the sky on a certain day. I’m inspired by the tone of someone’s voice. I’m inspired by Pixar movies and political speeches.

LEO: Favorite road snacks?
RW: Clementines, energy bars and McDougall’s dried soups.

LEO: Currently reading?
RW: “A Brief History of Nearly Everything” by Bill Bryson — I’ve had it on my bookshelf for ages, but my tourmate speaks highly of it, so I’m giving it the old college try.

LEO: Currently listening?
RW: I’m listening to the new Dave Matthews’ album Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King. I am terribly taken by the song “Lying in the Hands of God.”

Rebecca Williams
& Matthew Ryan
Thursday, Feb. 4
Monkey Wrench
1025 Barret Ave.
583-2433
$7; 8 p.m.