Album Review: The Strong Silent Type – The Strong Silent Type


It happens so often it’s become a cliché – lead singer of a band announces solo venture. Brighton’s Jumping Ships announced their curtailment last October, granting singer Michael Williams access to show the world what he can do armed only with an acoustic guitar, under the moniker of The Strong Silent Type. So what separates him from the rest? Despite only having a mere handful of live shows under his belt, this self-titled début offering is very accomplished, proving to be the missing link between the ambient atmospherics of Bon Iver, the raw emotion and honesty of City & Colour or Right Away! Great Captain, and the fragile beauty of Luke Pickett.

Williams’ voice was always a focal point of Jumping Ships, but laid bare in sparser surroundings, it sounds stunning. On ‘Replenish’, a track that puts one in the mind of subtler moments of ‘The Devil And God…’-era Brand New, his vocal goes from hushed and delicate to strong and soaring by the end. TSST also provides Williams with a platform for more introspective lyrical themes – Jumping Ships were never ones to pull a punch, but tracks like ‘Young Bones’, discussing how elders aren’t necessarily our betters, or ‘Born Again’, which picks over the pieces of a shattered friendship, are particularly candid. However, the best is saved until last on this 5-tracker, with the gorgeous ‘Bloodline’ sure to raise goosepimples amongst listeners, the ethereal underlying electric guitar and synth lines adding rich texture to Williams’ gossamer vocals.

The Strong Silent Type was a project started with collaborations in mind, and one can only imagine the delights of this soulful voice intertwining with another. Acoustic solo acts may be ten-a-penny, but like Shoes And Socks Off before him, and contemporaries like Big Fin (Matt Reynolds of Drawings/Howard’s Alias), Michael is far more wheat than chaff, shining through by wearing his heart on his sleeve. Let’s hope this Silent Type won’t go quietly.


‘The Strong Silent Type’ by The Strong Silent Type is out now on Glass Bottom Records.

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Words by Ollie Connors (@olliexcore)


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