A ‘democratic mud pit’, The Pond is Kathryn Williams (“Without doubt one of the most authentic folk voices in the country” - Q) and fellow musicians Simon Edwards and Ginny Clee, who have created an album project that will take many by surprise.
For Kathryn, currently in the middle of a creative purple patch, it’s a bold and exciting move that augments vintage beats, 60s pop, tape loops, Eastern notes, and even a rapper (Kirsch, on ‘Bebop’).
Some of The Pond’s songs have a sunny, laid back disposition (‘Circle Round A Tree’, ‘Art Of Doing Nothing’) but others leave a surprising impression of darkness.
There is nothing in Kathryn’s catalogue to prepare one for the eerie strangeness of ‘End Of The Pier’, the foreboding notes of ‘Memory Let Down’ or the sparkling, mysterious possession of ‘The River’, or indeed much else here.
Comparisons may be drawn with downtempo artists like Lemon Jelly, Mint Royale and Bent, but The Pond’s emphasis is on songs and voices – the interaction between Kathryn and Ginny creating some intoxicating harmonies.
The Pond’s music developed, alongside friendships, over a two year period of on / off recording at Simon and Ginny’s home studio in North London and by exchanging files over email with Newcastle-based Kathryn.
Pooling their talents into The Pond’s eponymous debut, the album’s 11 tunes are infused with the warmth and playfulness of its makers – with Adrian Utley’s mix giving the bright, ultra-vivid melodies a positively Bristolian depth and sophistication.
“From working closely with Simon on my last three releases, it was natural to mess about in the studio in downtime,” explains Kathryn of the project. “We had no plans or ideas of forming a band, we were just having fun and experimenting with sounds and ideas. Slowly the sound came together and we were able to hear what was ‘The Pond’ and what wasn't. It's been very democratic - being able to share the responsibility and the joy