From writing tunes for their mum on GarageBand to a viral spot on Netflix’s teen drama Heartstopper, which lead to eight million subsequent Spotify plays, the past five years for Ezra Williams have been pointing to this moment.
The Dublin-based songwriter spent their late teens exploring a variety of sounds and styles, initially drawing upon dreamy standalone lo-fi compositions on early singles Seventeen and Water before transferring to a full band setup on the IS IT EP in 2019. Supernumeraries strikes a good balance of the two as Williams recalls their early work with stripped back, intimate solo arrangements on this debut while integrating richer production and instrumental work into the mix.
Named for the excess teeth that Williams has leftover thanks to the rare condition called hyperdontia which they experienced as a child, Supernumeraries finds the 21-year-old writing about things they’ve gained and lost with a level of wisdom and introspection that could be reasonably expected of a writer twice their age. Standout track Bleed is notable for its simple yet effective portrait of a complex and unsung issue (namely the challenges of navigating relationships on the Autism spectrum), while lead single Deep Routed finds strength in the difficult process of shedding a previous partner to allow for someone new.
At the end of it all we come full circle as Williams ends this collection with a re-recorded version of Seventeen, almost five years on from its original form, wrapping up this striking debut by perfectly capturing their past and present.
Ezra Williams – Supernumeraries
Words: Andrew Lambert
Read our interview in March with Ezra by Finghín Little here.