Mercury-nominated singer-songwriter Kathryn Williams has announced that she will release a ‘soundtrack album’ to a brand new novel by author Laura Barnett, that follows the life of a fictional singer. Greatest Hits, the hotly-anticipated follow-up to Barnett’s novel The Versions of Us, will be published on 15th June 2017 alongside the brand new album by Kathryn Williams – Songs from the Novel Greatest Hits.
The original songs are written by Kathryn Williams, with lyrics by Laura Barnett and Kathryn Williams, and will be released as an album named Songs From The Novel Greatest Hits through One Little Indian, in June 2017. Laura Barnett’s acclaimed debut novel The Versions of Us was a Number One Bestseller and has sold over 200,000 copies in the UK alone, while Kathryn Williams enjoyed huge success with her Sylvia Plath tribute album Hypoxia and her most recent collaborative album with jazz musician Anthony Kerr – Resonator.
Greatest Hits tells the story of Cass Williams, a fictional musical artist who enjoyed huge success from the early ‘70s, only to retire mysteriously at the height of her fame. Two decades later, she is spending a single day in her recording studio, picking out tracks for a very personal Greatest Hits album. Each chapter of Greatest Hits opens with one of these songs and takes the reader back through Cass’s life, from her childhood, through her earliest days as a singer, to the terrible crisis that caused her to flee her own life.
Kathryn Williams says: “After making my album Hypoxia inspired by The Bell Jar (which was born out of a commission to celebrate Sylvia Plath) I didn’t think that I would be collaborating with another author so soon – and a living one to boot!
“I got a call from Laura after she had heard me on Cerys Matthews’ BBC6Music show talking about Hypoxia. She asked me if I was up for working on a parallel project to bring her fictional songwriter’s songs to life. Since then, we have co-written a group of 16 songs, cried, laughed and become close friends. It has been a joyous project of immersing ourselves into the character, the ups and downs of her career and her personal life.”
Laura Barnett says: “From the very earliest moment of coming up with the idea for Greatest Hits, it was clear to me that I wanted my character’s musical output to have a life beyond the page. I’ve been a fan of Kathryn’s music for years, and am so thrilled to be working with her - she’s an absolute magician, and I’m so excited about the creative possibilities posed by drawing literature and music together in this way. I’m also so grateful to all the booksellers - Waterstones, WH Smith, and all the amazing independents - who’ve been so supportive of The Versions of Us. I can’t wait to introduce my new novel to them, to readers, and to listeners!”