It’s a cliché that often you must travel the furthest distance only to discover what was right under your nose all along. Yet this was precisely the experience of Ryan and Kaylee Williams, who together form the Seattle-based, brother-sister duo, The Native Sibling.
A couple of years ago, Kaylee was exploring a scholastic pursuit in a quaint town in rural Ireland. Already an accomplished singer, she found herself quickly assimilating with local musicians and singing traditional acoustic folk music at local pubs. Ryan, taking a break from his normal grind as a touring and session guitar player, came for a visit not knowing what to expect from new and unfamiliar territory.
These two siblings had clearly missed one another, and needed an outlet to rekindle their closeness. What happened next was a spontaneous flurry of songwriting that neither had anticipated. Inspired by their new surroundings, they spent many late nights crafting songs and discovering how seamlessly their voices harmonized into a singular sound and vision. “When I came to visit, it was the first time we had ever performed together. The foreign and musical environment sparked our curiosity to play a few songs together at a pub. It felt as if we had been singing for years,” said Ryan.
It was obvious to both that they should continue making music together, so they brainstormed a fitting moniker. “Ryan and I had finally met in a place where we wanted to make the same kind of music. The response assured us that our journey needed to continue as a combined effort,” said Kaylee.
The result is the meticulously crafted and sonically beautiful 'Letters Kept To Ourselves.' The 10-song album is minimal in its acoustic instrumentation, but lush with harmonies and endlessly rich with emotive lyrics. The music seems to conjure up diverse images of sun-drenched California days, the vastness of the ocean and the emptiness of a cold, windy day in Ireland.
Lyrically, this deeply personal album examines family, meaningful relationships, the pursuit of dreams, overcoming loss, and remaining together through it all. On the powerful and anthemic opener Darkest of Night Skies, Ryan sings, “Flames staring at your face, hollowing your eyes, telling you what you aspire.” Its chilling melodies and cavernous bass drum serve as a perfect backdrop to the lyric. As Ryan explains, “Carrying out dreams can often put distance between an individual and their friends and family. In the discomfort of loneliness we can find strength in the experience.”
All songs written and performed by The Native Sibling
Produced and Mixed by Daniel Mendez, Brooklyn, NY
Mastered by Rick Risher at RFI, Seattle, WA
Design by Kevin Tudball
The Native Sibling is Ryan and Kaylee Williams