“It’s ok to be a work in progress”: Quiet Canyons’ Tim Williams on His Heartfelt & Therapeutic New Album ‘Chairs’

Quiet Canyons © Casey Curry
Quiet Canyons © Casey Curry
Quiet Canyons’ Tim Williams takes us track-by-track through his heartfelt tenth career album ‘Chairs,’ a warm folk reverie that envelops its listeners in gentle, cathartic blankets of empathy, self-love, and kindness.
Stream: “Chairs” – Quiet Canyons




I’ve got a life to burn, you are the fuel…

Ten albums is no small feat, but now more than ever, Tim Williams knows exactly what he wants to say – and how he wants to say it.

The singer/songwriter is at his most tender, caring, and empathetic on Chairs, a warm folk record that envelops its listeners in gentle blankets of self-love and kindness. His second record under the solo moniker Quiet Canyons is a calm, heartfelt reverie – one that dwells on what it means to be alive and present, to make the most out of our days while we’re here, and to feel connected not just to ourselves, but to the world around us.

Every one of those topics could admittedly make for its own album’s worth of material, yet Williams unpacks all this and more in just 26 minutes of sweetly stirring songwriting, finding the universal in his own intimate experiences to create a collection of songs that stir the heart and move the soul.

Chairs - Quiet Canyons
Chairs – Quiet Canyons
I’m always looking for the windows.
Take a look outside,
try to compromise with my brain

I think that better days are ahead now
Then in comes the rain,
smog will rise again
I hope you listen to your soul
when it comes home

I hope you listen to the bells
Sometimes life feels much shorter
the further we continue

Don’t burn the wood of your own chair.

Released May 3, 2024 via Trash Casual, Chairs is an album centered around the idea that we all need to be supported, “even if we work to destroy the framework that does so.” Arriving two full decades into a prolific music career that has spanned all sorts of sounds and seasons, Tim Williams’ second Quiet Canyons album feels like a deep breath of fresh air: The tense, heavy intake, and the relaxing, cathartic exhale.

He’s released music under his own name, as a part of the bands Soft Swells and Faire Osciller, but Quiet Canyons – which debuted a self-titled record in 2021 – is still fairly new; a recent addition to the Tim Williams repertoire, and one rooted in vulnerability and introspection.

“I chose Quiet Canyons for this project as it felt like a place where I could write from a raw and reflective state,” Williams tells Atwood Magazine. “I like the visual of a canyon being the lowest point of life where everything drains into it to make a rich and concentrated environment for growth.”

Quiet Canyons © Casey Curry
Quiet Canyons © Casey Curry

If Quiet Canyons’ debut was a record of ruminative self-discovery, then Chairs is one of meditative grace. It’s the calm after the storm – a collection of thoughts about living well, being our best selves, and making the most out of our precious seconds, minutes, and hours, all channeled into folk music that spans from dreamy to dramatic.

“I wrote this record really quickly at my home in Los Angeles. I think everything was composed and recorded in two weeks,” Tim Williams recalls. “This is my 10th full length release, and the first one where I feel all the songs connect directly with each other. Tom Beaujour, who I met prior to producing/mixing the debut Faire Osciller record, produced and mixed this one, too. He is the first producer to ask me what songs were about, which made me feel open to not trying to self-censor or water down lyrics. Chris Berry, one of my first musical friends and tourmates from my ‘Tim Williams’ days, played drums, and my dear friend Absofacto mastered this album – I met Jon (AKA Absofacto) when we were on the same label in NYC with his band Mason Proper, who, we played tons of shows with.”

He continues, “My first thought with this record was to make something I was proud of from start to finish. I feel I did that. What changed while recording this record was my collaboration with the incredible producer Tom Beaujour. He challenged me with his production and said things like: ‘Hey, I know this is a little nuts, but would you be open to doing this… If you don’t like it we can change it back.’ I trust him more than anyone I have ever worked with, so of course would say yes. Now I can’t imagine the songs sounding any other way.”

Quiet Canyons © Casey Curry
Quiet Canyons © Casey Curry

Williams candidly describes Chairs as heartfelt, concise, and therapeutic.

“It truly is the culmination of writing and recording ten full length records and growing as a songwriter,” he smiles. “A lot of people try to make their art or music more complicated or extravagant as they go on in their career. For me, I have become more confident with the ‘less is more’ approach, knowing that listeners don’t have the time to ingest something beyond what is needed.”

The album’s soft, sweet, and soul-stirring opener and title track “Chairs” sets the scene for a record that wears its heart unapologetically on its sleeve: “I hope you listen to your soul when it comes home; I hope you listen to the bells,” Williams sings, his aching voice full of empathy, love, and kindness. “Sometimes life feels much shorter the further we continue. Don’t burn the wood of your own chair.” It’s a heartfelt message of self-love, hope, and healing, and one that we all so desperately need to hear right now – because quite frankly, he’s right: Life doesn’t get any easier, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still full of light.

“This song is a letter to our internal editor giving us the reminder to not self-sabotage ourselves into thinking that the innocence and excitement for life that we once had is all but gone,” Williams says. “With everything going on in the world and the amount of bad news thrown our way, it can become a huge personal burden that feels impossible to shake.”

“Honestly, this is the first time where I think every song stands strong on its own, but better as a collective,” Williams says. “Most of my friends who I let preview it really gravitate to the title track, which makes me happy.”

He continues, “I really like the lyric ‘Don’t burn the wood of your own chair’ from ‘Chairs,’ the idea ‘breathe the exhaust’ from ‘Enough’ as the connotation is negative, but this is actually positive. I also like the watch and photography visuals in a few of the songs, as I love taking 35MM photographs and got into the world of watches and how they work when my father passed away recently – he had a few pocket watches in a shoebox that I never had seen or heard him speak about.”

Further highlights include the lyrically hopeful, musically moody and bluesy “It Will Get Better,” the hypnotic and intimately expressive “Life to Burn,” and the softly spirited “Time,” an upbeat song about accepting mortality and leaning into the here and now as best we can. “There’s a chance I forgot what magic it is to live and breathe,” Williams sings on the latter track. “As I sit here vacant, with my hands down at my knees. The goal was to lean into brighter days and peaceful nights, but I’m stuck on the first page trying to read myself alive.” As honest with himself as he is with his audience, Williams truly holds nothing back, showing us that, for all we can talk or sing about being our best possible selves, we’re all just trying our best, giving it the good ole’ college try day in and day out.

Quiet Canyons © Casey Curry
Quiet Canyons © Casey Curry

“I really hope people understand that it’s ok to be a work in progress for as long as we are allowed to live in this world,” Williams shares. “Releasing this record means so much to me as it has signaled a new phase in my creative output and a confidence in my ability to craft songs. I know I am 10 records into this career, but Chairs makes me feel that I am just at the start of it – and there is nothing more that brings me joy than that.”

Chairs is a gentle giant of comforting and cathartic folk sound: A record that soothes, stirs, and inspires through heart-on-sleeve lyricism, glistening acoustic guitar work, and moving, emotive vocals. Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside Quiet Canyons’ Chairs with Atwood Magazine as Tim Williams takes us track-by-track through the music and lyrics of his second solo album!

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:: stream/purchase Chairs here ::
:: connect with Quiet Canyons here ::
Stream: ‘Chairs’ – Quiet Canyons



:: Inside Chairs ::

— —

Chairs

This song is a letter to our internal editor giving us the reminder to not self-sabotage ourselves into thinking that the innocence and excitement for life that we once had is all but gone. With everything going on in the world and the amount of bad news thrown our way, it can become a huge personal burden that feels impossible to shake.

Enough

Long-term partnerships are tough and can break down when you live emotionally separate, but together. This song is more of a white flag being raised asking for a reset and for a chance to rebuild.

It Will Get Better

This is a song about one of my young daughters struggle with mental illness that I feel I passed along to her. I felt the same way she did when I was young but didn’t have anyone to talk to or try to understand what I was going through. I turned to music to try to articulate my feelings and comfort me at an early age and have tried to help her find something that will do the same.

Lume

This song is the response to “It Will Get Better” that tracks the moments prior to an emotional collapse when I assess the situation to see what can be done. Sometimes as a parent – which I never thought I would be – you feel like a first responder to a catastrophe.

Life to Burn

This song documents a trip to Joshua Tree and one of the rare times I allowed myself to let go and enjoy a singular moment with my partner. Living in Los Angeles, and prior to that, NYC, life can speed by so quickly that you sometimes need to physically relocate to settle down.

Not in the Mood

I grew up in a family that didn’t talk about their problems – or really at all. To me it felt normal as I didn’t know any different. I am trying to unlearn that and communicate better but I still keep things on the inside which isn’t a good practice. I start the song with the chorus of how I was raised and each verse reflects the damage that it has put on the life that I live now.

Swallow You

I am an avid reader and this song is inspired by a book I read about a couple of outsiders searching for refuge in a small town.

Time

This song laments about how short life is as we shouldn’t try to hide from it. There’s uncertainty there, but there’s also a bucket of positivity poured on throughout.

I’ll Be Something

I want to be a better partner to my wife, I want to be supportive and communicate better, but that can sometimes be a tough task. To me I tend to hide in my music (listening or writing) or reading as a form of escapism. Each night before I go to sleep I tell myself “tomorrow I will be different.” It’s yet to be seen if I actually am.

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:: stream/purchase Chairs here ::
:: connect with Quiet Canyons here ::

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? © Casey Curry
album art by Aaron May

Chairs

an album by Quiet Canyons



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