Arts, Column

Wilson: Your New Favorite Artist, Hans Williams

Considering he’s still in college, Hans Williams is wise beyond his years, and it shines through in his music. He has cultivated a unique alt-pop sound driven by acoustic guitars, warm and effortless melodies, and a knack for relatable and personal storytelling. If you are looking for an honest and raw singer-songwriter with pop tendencies, Williams is the artist for you.

Even with only seven songs on his Spotify page, he has upward of 96,000 monthly listeners. His most popular song, “93,” has accrued more than three million streams, and it’s easy to see why he already has a substantial following so early in his musical career. 

A Williams essential is his 2020 song “Body on My Shoulders.” The track marks an emotionally significant moment in Williams’ life and songwriting, as he reflects on a floormate’s suicide during his freshman year at Tulane. Even with such a heavy subject, Williams uses his instrumentation and production to convey the gravity of the subject and the emotional complexity of his experience. 

In the first half of the track, accompanied only by a lonely acoustic guitar, Williams ponders how much his outlook on life has changed after the loss. Following the second chorus, joined by booming drums, the guitar becomes much louder, and Williams pleads for someone to “tell me that I’ll be fine.” The song shows Williams striving to keep his floormate’s memory alive through his song.

Last year, Williams released “Weekend,” which is more high-energy than his previous tunes. A synth fades in and out with a lively bassline and drums. “Weekend” is Williams’ most upbeat song, perfect for a drive with the windows down or a sunny summer day.

“Now I’m gaining my feelin’ back / I know, fallin’ half afraid / I don’t wanna feel this way / For so long been stuck in vain / So through the motions I go,” Williams sings.

Williams’ new single, “All Is Well,” released on Feb. 2, was inspired by a time when Williams was still mentally and emotionally recovering from the traumatic experience that led to the writing of “Body on My Shoulders.” 

“All Is Well is about the period of time before i felt ready to have those conversations [about suicide] – before i realized what real catharsis lied behind the barrier of opening up,” Williams said in an Instagram post.

Williams also said in the post that “All Is Well” is about an emotional conflict that many people have experienced. The song also stresses the importance of reaching out to someone when you’re struggling. A delicate and wistful guitar enhances his thoughtful lyrics, while Williams’ beautiful voice and counter melodies give the song an optimistic and reflective feeling. 

Even though Williams is just getting started on his musical journey, it’s clear that his honest, vulnerable songwriting and nostalgic sound will carry him far and satisfy his listeners for years to come. With an affinity for crisp acoustic guitars, evocative and personal lyricism, and an unforgettable voice, Williams is truly an alt-pop star on the rise.

Featured Image Courtesy of Hans Williams

February 7, 2022