It finally happened. I guess I always knew that this day would come, but I wasn’t aware that the day would come so soon. Joy Williams has released her first single since The Civil Wars went their separate ways and “Woman (Oh Mama)” is definitely a departure from anything the folk duo could have created. I’ll admit that the song took a few replays for me to truly enjoy it. Being that I was so used to listening to Joy’s voice accompanied by Jon Paul White’s voice, this new futuristic track is something that I didn’t quite expect when Joy Williams announced that she would be venturing out on her own once more.
So now with a few replays in, I have fallen completely in love with “Woman (Oh Mama)”. The song begins with a resounding “Oh mama, Oh mama” that carries throughout the entire song. The instruments build up to a consistent rhythm that contains the beat for the entirety of the song. “Woman (Oh Mama) is the epitome of, “I’m a woman, hear me roar”. In a year where feminism has played such a strong role, this song comes just in time. The chants, the beats, and the statements that the song makes are something that cannot be ignored. Joy Williams’ vocals in the song are short of astounding and they demand to be heard. “We will show you when life begins / I am the Universe wrapped in skin.”
In actuality, the song is a simple song; it doesn’t have an ever-changing melody and the lyrics are simple, yet powerful. More than just a single that she has released, Joy Williams has released a statement. She created a resounding affirmation that this new journey she is taking is what is needed. It is a reminder that she is someone other than the other half of The Civil Wars. The song empowers and celebrates everything to do with being a woman. It almost feels like an anthem that Joy Williams created for herself; a reminder that she can be a solo artist again and that she can succeed on her own.
I will absolutely admit that I had my reservations about Joy Williams going solo. I mean did you ever see The Civil Wars live? They were pure, undeniable magic. Which is why I think Williams decide to venture outside of the sound that she was previously a part of. She’d be a fool to attempt to recreate the sound that The Civil Wars produced. “Woman (Oh Mama)” has quickly become one of my favorite songs and I cannot wait to see what else is to come from Joy Williams’ upcoming album, Venus.