Woodpecker Wooliams launches her album ‘The Bird School Of Being Human’ on Friday, September 7 @ London, The Vortex with support from Bronze Medalists + Eyes And No Eyes. The album preceded by the debut single for the track, Sparrow. Take a listen below to the single and remixes via Soundcloud which will be released on September 3.
‘The Bird School Of Being Human’ is released on Sept 10th via Robot Elephant Records, known primarily as an electronic label and so a perfect home for Woodpecker Wooliams as she spreads her wings into new territories. The album takes as its springboard a harsh life experience, then journeys through an exploration of passivity and violence, responsibility and blame, gender roles, personal and familial histories. The songs are always thoroughly compelling, dark but never miserable. From both sides of both fence, she looks at questions of identity, female hysteria and male aggression.
The release show in London will be followed by these dates:
8th – Brighton @ St Andrew’s Church album launch show w/Ichi+ special guests
12th – London @ The Strongrooms
2nd – London @ The Gallery Cafe
13th – London, Union Chapel (Dayight Sessions)
14th – London, Old Queens Head
More about Woodpecker Wooliams? A resident of Brighton, a keeper of bees, all round naturophile and lover of Russian Dolls, Woodpecker Wooliams aka singer-songwriter Gemma Williams has an unnerving, sweet tremolo voice. Her songs are unusual, modern + intriguing. Originally comprised of vocals and harp, the odd bell, chime + whistle they have more recently begun to encompass an altogether fuller, electronic, droney sound.
Meanwhile she worked as an auxiliary maternity nurse and went on to train as a midwife in 2007/8, delivering several babies. Sadly a sudden and severe illness stopped all of that and on leaving hospital Gemma upped sticks and sought out the countryside calm of Devon, holing up in a cottage built into the hill under Totnes castle. She waitressed in a teashop and hired a harp. Woodpecker Wooliams was born – the more she sang, the more she learned to play, the more well she became.
Gemma grew up in the concrete and shopping malls of Crawley…and music was pretty much absent at home as her mother suffers from a rare condition meaning she cannot tolerate repetitive or high-pitched sound.
Once on the road of musical composition, Gemma quickly became bored of the folky sound her music was falling into and found herself moving towards “mental, horrible, distorted noise”, in an almost compulsive effort to bring some balance to her music.
“I didn’t set out to explore these ideas. Each song came via a bird that had a story to tell. A bit like a reverse Disney animation – rather than anthropomorphising animal characters, these songs are kind of how it might be like if people were aviomorphised, or if the birds were in human bodies.,” she said. “Bird’s eye views… So they’re the bird’s songs really. My life is changing/has changed so much over the course of making this album, surprising me, over and over.”
For more information on Woodpecker Wooliams, visit woodpeckerwooliams.com.