Amanda Jo Williams is an oddball in the best sense of the word.
The Georgia-born artist combines country music with just about everything else. She has been making waves in Los Angeles since 2011, when she debuted her first full-length record, “Mary’s Big Feet.” She continued carving her niche in the freak folk scene with “Yes I Will, Mr. Man” and “The Bear Eats Me” in 2012. May 21, she will release her fourth LP, “You’re The Father of My Songs.”
Released by Neurotic Yell Records, the album is a cacophony of alt-country, psychedelic madness. Saxophone, organ, violin and trumpet join keyboard, guitar and percussion in sonic combinations that are sometimes dissonant and often unsettling.
“2000Hell” is a take-no-prisoners introduction to Williams’ lurid lyrics and off-kilter sound. Backed by something like a gospel choir, Williams touts a doomsday anthem with a Southern twang.
“Holster, The Gun It Hangs In There” is a macabre trip to a country circus. “I need a fire in my chest and blood in my pee to urinate,” Williams declares over eerily upbeat drums.
In “Box The Rain,” Williams exhibits her affinity for psychedelia, repeating a single line over and over in the soundtrack for a trippy dream. In the more plot-driven “Suppose I Did Mean Love,” she sings airily amid sliding violins and the occasional trumpet flourish.
“On To Gold” is the least darkhearted track on the album, a throwback to ‘60s California rock. “Goddamn Muse” is the album’s obligatory breakup song, albeit a weirdly winsome one.
However bizarre her sound, Williams is consistent. “You’re The Father of My Songs” is clearly a whole, but each track carries its own uncanny character. With this album, Williams continues to bind listeners in abstraction, confusion and a cool resistance to genre expectations.