Daily Yinz – Halloway Williams – Appalachia

Halloway Williams’s (stage name of Billie Sue Bracken) ROCKABYE is a hushed, glimmering meditation on growth, loss, and queer identity.

The EP’s five tracks purl outward like ripples on a sylvan memory pond whose surface has been stirred by the gentle toss of a stone. Pianos echo, synths gurgle, spare percussion crackles, and Bracken’s feathery voice weaves childhood memories and adult torments together in a dreamlike tapestry. “Appalachia,” a ballad that, like a spring rainstorm, starts quiet and gathers force, opens with Bracken murmuring, “I was born in the kind of place where people often hide away.” She dreams briefly of returning, going off the grid to live in the shade of a deep forest. As the song progresses, Bracken gradually introduces cascading guitar and booming drums, stretching her voice to higher and stronger frequencies to match them. When she belts, “I hold your hand and I smile like everything’s fine/Everything’s fine,” you’re not sure if she’s entirely confident in her own words, but when she concludes by marveling, “It’s still a mystery, my life,” you understand that she doesn’t need to be in order for them to matter.

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